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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jesus Wasn't Into Formulas

Congratulations to Betty for winning the copy of Mike Bechtle's new book, People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them the Keys. Thank you to everyone who submitted your names.

Several posts ago, I wrote about formulas. As I continued thinking about that concept, I realized how much Jesus wasn't into formulas. He responded spontaneously and as His Father led Him in every instance...


In the way He healed people. Some He touched. For some He made mud for blind eyes. Some He spoke to and commanded.

In the way He responded to people. Some He asked questions. Some He gave outrageous commands (go sell everything and give the money away!). Some He gently rebuked. Some He reasoned with.

In the ways He spoke and taught. He most often used the current setting. With the Samaritan woman at the well, He talked about living water. With the Pharisees He rebuked them as white washed tombs. 

Jesus stressed over and over again that He walked moment by moment doing what the Father wanted Him to do--all with the passion and desire to see His Father glorified and magnified. He wanted the people to see the Father correctly.

I've always wondered whether Jesus as God knew ahead of time what He would encounter and face every day, every month, every year, all His human life. Or as a human, did He walk in the moment by moment challenge of seeking the Father's will?

We know that He knew He would die by crucifixion. He knew who would betray Him. He knew a lot of other things. But did He know He would encounter that Samaritan woman and that's why He "had to go through Samaria"? Just from that wording, it would seem He knew beforehand the opportunities the Father had for Him. But did that apply to everything or just what was necessary?

It's a fascinating question, isn't it? Do you wonder too? What do you think? 

Jesus creatively, without formulas, responded to the assignments the Father gave Him. It can be empowering and comforting, I think, to trust that our Father through the Spirit's leading can guide us too. After all, we are given the "mind of Christ."

But one more thought. There actually are "formulas" given to us from God. They are the commands God gives us. "Don't marry unbelievers" is a formula. "Speak the truth in love" is a formula. The 10 Commandments are a "formula." I think they can be called "formulas" because they are consistent and no creativity is required. There aren't several different ways to obey them.

Thank you for walking through this journey of exploring formulas. Let me know your ideas.   

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