Before our talented youth minister, Steve Sargent, and his wife joined us at SWC, I was teaching the teen class on Wednesday evenings. One night, I asked them, "Who in your life would you die for?"
Sam was the first to raise her hand saying that she would die for anyone.
Cami was quick to say that she would easily die for her sister Sylvia.
Mark Anthony said that he would die for his family--Mark Sr., Sabrina, Tashila, and Dahjila.
Then, I asked Terry, the senior in our youth group, the leader, if he would die for his best friend Markquill. He shrugged his shoulders, grinned, and said, "Josh, friends come and go." (Way to go, Terry :) ).
Often, to measure our love for someone we ask, "Would you die for them?" This is a good question. However, the 2nd question that I asked our teens that night, and the question that should receive just as much playing time as "who would you die for" is, "Do you love someone so much that you would live for them?"
I have seen many parents that would easily take a bullet for their children, but they aren't making decisions to live for them. They are too committed to jobs and hobbies.
Husbands would die for their spouse but they aren't living for them.
Here is what I'm getting at--JESUS TEACHES US HOW TO LIVE! Before Jesus died, Jesus taught us how to live.
My main hang-up with The Apostles' Creed is that it goes straight from "born of the virgin Mary" to "suffered under Pontius Pilate." Umm...this leaves out Matthew 3-25, Mark 1-14, Luke 4-22, and John 1-17.
Before Jesus chose to die, He chose to live.
Luke 4:18-19 tells us what the life of Jesus will consist of. Jesus quotes from Isaiah saying, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor...TODAY THIS SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN FULFILLED IN YOUR HEARING."
This is the thesis for Luke and Acts. This is "how" Jesus will live, and this is the mission that he hands to the apostles and to the church. Jesus teaches us how to live as people full of love, compassion, mercy, and justice. He establishes a new community where all are welcome, and calls us to do the same. He speaks out against sin, but he is quick to embrace and love the sinner--he even eats in their homes. He truly is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."