What began as a simple message of obedience may have been complicated by well intentioned but misguided devotees.
Without institutions to educate, denominations to ordain and book companies to publish, the followers of Jesus managed to rapidly multiply from a handful to millions 300 years later. In fact Acts 19:10 suggest that 15 million people heard the message of Jesus only 19 years after Jesus’ resurrection.
It reminds me of the golf swing. I do a fair amount of golfing and have a reputation of being a teacher of the game, having spent more time than I care to admit studying the dynamics of a golf swing. It is in question whether my reputation as a teacher is to be helpful to my opponents or just to confuse my them in the middle of a round!
The best teachers of golf actually have a few simple thoughts about the process. This might explain why Jack Nicklaus was a great player and not a great teacher. Jack’s Golf My Way has at least 18 “Key” points to the swing. All of which I can keep firmly in mind while I contort my body so that I can hit a little white ball, yeah right!
This video is metaphor of what Jesus’ followers have done to the simple message of Jesus.
It is easy to take something simple and add, add, and add until the simple becomes so complex that it looses its effectiveness and its ability to reproduce rapidly and effectively. Our attempts to clarify have done nothing but to obfuscate the message! (big word use intentionally!!!)
So if this (below) is the Good News, how do we expect the uninitiated to understand it?
Are these Jesus’ words? (I can’t argue with anything stated above.) Our ability to create complexity around the message of Jesus rather than relentlessly pursue simplicity hinders Good News and our ability reach the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
What is the simple message of Jesus? What does it take to begin to follow Jesus? How did the disciples of Jesus reach so much of the world without the complex message that we’ve developed?
Time to rethink our methods and how we craft our message.
- The four stories of Jesus in the second half of the Bible.
- Recovering the Lost Gospel, Darrell Bock