From the Bottom Up

We hear in the news allegations of the misconduct of religious leaders. We are not surprised when these allegations are made. We may even assume they are guilty. The respect for religious leaders has gone because of this. If one is guilty we are suspicious of them all. The same corruption existed in the days of Jesus. With all the public opinion of corruption and mistrust, how was Jesus able to make such an impact on the world?
When we look back at the Old Testament we find the same things. Many of the kings did not follow God and led his people into idolatry. The country became bad simply because the leader was bad. Punishment was given by God until the people would cry out for relief. A new leader was appointed who would bring them back to God. The people followed exactly what the leader did. Some leaders did change from the influence of their father, but for the most part things became worse rather than better.
It is such a contrast in the New Testament when Jesus came.  His message was that all people could follow God regardless of what their leaders did. He did not reach first to the leaders but to the poor and outcasts who had been rejected. He called for the outcasts to follow him as much as the people in power. He was not trying to overthrow the religious leaders of his time as much as he was going around them. They were unimportant. He held everyone to be responsible to God for their faith rather than seeing them as a nation under a leader. He did not try to reform the Pharisees and Sadducees, he bypassed them.
When we think about how to change a nation and a culture that is far from God, we should consider the methods of Jesus. He started with the people. He did not go to the leaders or those with influence. He called himself the son of man. He called for faith among the regular people. He changed a nation from the ground up. He trained leaders from among the regular people who would follow what he taught. They were just people who believed God could do something in their life. They believed they could have a relationship with God directly. They didn’t need to follow corrupt leaders; they could follow the man who appeared to be God on earth. What if we all just followed God regardless of our position or influence? God would change the world through us.   Terry Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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