Jesus Is My King Not My Concierge

The apostle Paul once said that God is like Jesus–the fullness of God is seen and known in the person of Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus’ life models “the faith” we proclaim because he is Lord. So if I want to know what it looks like to live as a citizen of God’s kingdom or know what it looks like to be a Christian, I look at Jesus. No one else.

I know this seems obvious, but let that sink in for a moment.

Here is the most basic way I determine whether or not I’m looking to Jesus to form my imagination and vision of what life looks like when he is Lord. If I embrace a belief that runs contrary to what I see in the life of Jesus, who lived in a fear-dealing violent world, then I need to look more closely at the person of Jesus and ask, “Do I trust him as the Lord?” 

“Love and bless your enemies, ” Jesus says. “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” Jesus says. “Welcome the foreigner,” Jesus says. “Care for the poor,” Jesus says. “Blessed are the merciful,” Jesus says.

“Yeah, but…” we say.

Can we really say “yeah, but” to the Lord of life? We can I suppose, but his Lordship invites us to move from “yeah but” to “okay, I will trust you.” Look, I confess that I do not like some of the things Jesus teaches, models and calls me to embrace as his disciple. For example, I don’t care for the parable of the sower and the seed and the idea that some will receive “the word” and then “fall away.” I do not like the love-your-enemy stuff and sometimes I don’t even like the love-your-neighbor stuff either. There are other things he teaches that I would prefer he allow me to pass over, but when I confessed that Jesus is Lord I simultaneously confessed that I am not.

In the meantime, I cannot forget this one thing: my dislike for Jesus’ teaching or the way he demonstrates what life looks like when lived in God’s kingdom, doesn’t change the fact it’s what he commands of those who confess him as Lord. It may be hard. It may even be difficult to imagine what a specific teaching looks like in 2015 and in these United States. But it is no less what he taught. To follow him is to learn to trust him and by the power of his Spirit living within me, align my life, will and affections with his as I rest securely in his divine love.

So if you are reading this and call yourself a Christian, either Jesus is Lord or he isn’t. If he is Lord of life then he knows best how life really works. Sure, he might fit “inside my heart” but he will not fit inside my preferences much less my politics. He will be our King, not our concierge; our Savior, not our subordinate.

He will be our Redeemer, not our fellow republican; our Day-Star, not our fellow democrat; our Lord, not our fellow libertarian; our Mediator of a New Covenant, not our mediator of a nationalistic commitment.

He is our Advocate and Victor, not our advocate of violence; our Prince of Peace, not our prince of war; our God, not our gun advocate. He is the Lamb that was slain and the First-Born from the dead and he who chose to demonstrate his power through self-giving love rather than self-serving love. He is the holy Head of the Body, the Church, and the Head over all things to the Church. And though it would be easy to think that a Lord so, majestic and magnificent, would lack concern for little ole’ you and me, he made it clear by his life, death and resurrection that he knows us best and loves us more than anyone ever could. That will never change and neither will His Lordship.

Please Christian, the world needs us to trust Jesus as Lord and stop scratching and clawing to be lords, or at the very least stop pledging our allegiance to other lords. Society needs to see us really follow Jesus. They need to see what it looks to like to love both neighbors and enemies. They need to see what it looks like to do to and for others what we would want done to and for ourselves. They need to see that we are a forgiving people because we have been a forgiven people. They need to see that we are a people of gracious hospitality because we have been received a graciously hospitable God who welcomes all. As Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) eloquently and prophetically wrote:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

My brothers and sisters, I plead with you, if you’ve trusted Jesus with your eternity, trust him with your life–your politics, your rights, your freedom(s), your relationships, your finances, your peace, your joy–your life.

Let’s go out in to our every day places following Jesus and be sure to speak our words, post our posts, tweet our tweets, and live our lives in such a way that we give Jesus a fair shot with others.

— [Photo: Photo by R.S, CC via Flickr]