Which Group Would Jesus Join?

Ever wonder which group Jesus would join?

We take for granted that He’d be part of our group, right? He’d obviously share my theology, my politics, my national pride, and so on. It’s obvious because, well, I’m right.

I’m being sarcastic, sort of. Driving home from a meeting yesterday I probably passed twenty churches and for some reason wondered which one Jesus would join if He lived in Fort Collins.

Would He side with the Progressives or the Evangelicals? Would He join the Catholics or Protestants, the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, or Lutherans? Would He be non-denominational?

Do we even care?

I’m serious. When we put on that WWJD wristband, do we really want to be guided by what Jesus might do?

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)

Jesus didn’t care much for religion, the human response to God’s revelation. Religion is the groups and labels and big, fancy buildings. It’s the Pharisees He confronted so frequently. Religion is the rules and all the stuff you can’t do, and it’s mostly about fear, power, and control.

Religion has little to do with following Jesus, so He said, “Come to me. Get away with me.” He was talking about getting away from religion.

Which group would Jesus join? I think He’s saying the people matter more to Him than the labels. I think He’s saying He doesn’t care much about groups and their petty differences, which makes me wonder if they ought to matter so much to us. I think He’s saying we ought to be one community where everyone’s safe but nobody’s complacent.

Consider for a moment the possibility that Jesus might join that group down the street, the one with whom you disagree or perhaps don’t even like very much. If He actually showed up aligned with the folks you’re absolutely certain are wrong wrong wrong, would your opinions change?

We’ve all got some pretty deeply-held political, patriotic, and religious convictions. If Jesus showed up in the wrong group, those convictions might be challenged. I wonder how easily we’d release them.

Kinda makes you wonder who—or what— we’re really following.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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