A day in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Although most theologians would like to focus on the 24-hour period leading up to his crucifixion, the Gospels do offer us other examples. One of the primal outlines is found in Matthew, Chapters 12 and 13. You may feel free to read it–I will not tax your spirit or patience by parsing it verse by verse–but there are six things that become clear from perusing the story line.
1. Jesus was not a theologian.
His disciples walked through a field of corn, and even though it was forbidden by religious edict to eat it–especially on the Sabbath–they partook. Jesus defended them to the Pharisees, who were ready to leap upon the activity to prove the unworthiness of Jesus’ Kingdom movement. During this exchange, Jesus makes a profound statement: “The Sabbath is for man.”
It is geared for us, in order to replenish, rejuvenate and renovate our thinking.
2. Jesus was not a rabbi.
He strolls into a synagogue and disrupts the service by healing a man with a withered hand. He is accosted for this untimely interruption, and replies, “Each one of you will save a donkey from a trench, but you won’t do anything to help this fellow.”
Yes, Jesus was guilty of interrupting the flow of worship.
And contrary to the common patter:
3. Jesus was not a Jew.
Not only did he break the Jewish laws, taunting them in doing so, but we are informed that he was a voice, a spirit and a teacher in whom the “Gentiles could trust.”
Even though his proximity to Jerusalem might generate the assumption that he was a Son of Abraham, he made it clear that he was around “before Abraham.”
Shall we press on?
4. He was certainly not a traditionalist.
The religious leaders believed he was satanic. They swore he was casting out demons by the power of Satan. Of course, none of them could cast out a demon, but Jesus made it clear that he had come to destroy the works of the devil and that they needed to be careful not to mock the moving of the Holy Spirit just because it was inconvenient to their case.
So Jesus is not a theologian, a rabbi, a Jew or a traditionalist. And by the way:
5. Jesus was not a family man.
When interrupted by his mother, brothers and sisters during a time of ministry (because they wanted to take him home, thinking he was crazy) Jesus turned to the crowd and claimed them as his new family.
Yes, Jesus might find it difficult to be in a church service, welling up over allegiance with people simply because of shared DNA.
So as Matthew describes a day in the life of Jesus, when he defies theologians, upsets a rabbi, walks away from Judaism, breaks traditions and sidesteps family involvement, he ends the discourse by establishing who the Nazarene really was.
For the Master sat down and told a story: “The sower went forth to sow seed.”
6. Jesus is a sower.
He’s not concerned about isolating off perfect soil, but merely casting the seed in the direction of any possibility.
A day in the life of Jesus will let you know that his message was human, geared for humans, addressed to humans, human-friendly and human-saving.
He discarded religion in favor of the reality of those souls God sent his way.