Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Jesus, in many ways, has been misunderstood, misquoted, and certainly misapplied. He has been thought of as a gifted and ingenious teacher to a raving lunatic or mad man. We even have a record of where his own brothers thought he might be insane.
There is no doubt that when Jesus arrived on the scene that the religious crowd was in for a surprise. The events that surrounded his birth and the few insights that we have as he grew older were certainly disturbing. How he lived, what he said and what he taught was far different than what the Pharisees, Scribes, and Priests had been teaching. Jesus taught with authority, clarity, and veracity
We can call his teachings controversial, mind boggling, or even shocking. He made tremendous demands on those who followed him. He made it patently clear what it was that made the majority of religion his enemy. The way to eternal life and happiness was a difficult path. Jesus taught hard things.
Those hard things include such statements as, "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away;" If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me;" or "Not everyone who says unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven." The religious ruling crowd nor the masses could understand such statements.
Mark Twain, as an unbeliever, remarked, "It's not what I don't understand about the bible that bothers me; its what I do understand that bothers me." Of course the hardest thing about what Jesus taught is applying them to our lives and making the necessary changes or adjustments.
Victor Kuligin does a masterful job of tackling 10 difficult and shocking statements of Jesus and applying them to our everyday lives. He takes just 10 teachings of Jesus and breaks them down for us to clearly see the instruction and implication for each one of us.
Kuligin says: “With the rise of the health-and-wealth gospel and prosperity teaching, we have become accustomed to a comfortable, ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus’ Messiah. It is a picture of Jesus I call ‘Jesus-lite.’ Great taste, less demanding.”
He goes on to say: “The teaching of Jesus was often harsh. He was not a preacher of convenience, but hardship; not a preacher of comfort, but suffering.”
I have read and re-read this book. It is quite challenging and I highly recommend it. Reading this book will change the way you think about how you “do church.” Reading it can transform your thinking about the cost of true salvation and discipleship. Please, pick up a copy today!
Victor Kuligin is a professor and Academic Dean at Bible Institute of South Africa, as well as an international lecturer, author, and assistant pastor. He and his wife Rachel, have served with Africa Inland Missions for the past twelve years in Namibia, Africa. They are now serving under the Pioneers in Kalk Bay (Cape Town) Republic of South Africa They have five children.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 1:00 AM