It is nearly impossible to be Jesonian–a true follower of the heart of Jesus–without fully comprehending that there are two Gospels. Shall we name them the “Galilee Gospel” and the “Jerusalem Journey?”
It is the reason theologians struggle with the message of Jesus, finding themselves complicating it so that the dual approaches can co-habitate within one faith. But it’s an error to do so.
Jesus had one message but two missions. His two missions were:
- To bring the message to fulfill the love
- To present himself as the doorway to fulfill the law
In Galilee he talked about life–abundant life. He lived with his disciples in joy–fully. He spoke of God as a Father and all of us as brothers and sisters. He explained the dangers of anger and lust. He clarified that the things we do to other people are recorded as actions performed to God. It was human–everyday fodder for feeling and believing.
But to fulfill the Law of Moses and welcome the Children of Abraham into his mission, he labored among the stringent, inflexible Jews, trying to reason with them and gather them together under a new understanding. These religionists had “jot-and-tittled” themselves into frantic insecurity about the purposes of God, and even, to a degree, agnosticism about the existence of Jehovah.
The Jerusalem Journey was filled with thinking, musing, mulling, wondering, questioning and attempts at compromise. It was a futile effort to afford political correctness to a manifesto meant for the whole world, and not merely designed for one hundred miles of landscape in the Middle East.
Did Jesus know that the Jews were going to reject him?
Did Jesus know it would end so badly, with his execution on a cross?
You can debate that all you want, but we are certainly aware that he reached a point where he had to relent to the conclusion that you can’t “put new wine into old wine skins.”
The problem in today’s church is that we focus too much on the Jerusalem Journey and don’t thunder the celebration of the Galilee Gospel.
Too much musing, too much debate, too much thinking and too much meditation.
It’s time for us to return to the Gospel of Galilee, when life was abundant and joy was full. It’s an easy message to remember: go, do, give, be.
- Go unto all the world.
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- Give and it shall be given unto you.
- Be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
Such a message offers redemption for failure, while simultaneously providing exhortation to challenge indifference.
There is a danger that we in the church will stall–trying to fulfill the law instead of fulfilling the love.
Stop thinking so much about it.
Go. Do. Give. Be.