Jesus was the most popular brand in Palestine. For instance in today’s reading (Mark 6:30-56). People wanted what he had so much that it was amazingly difficult for him to take time off with his team for a staff retreat! Wherever they went, crowds lined up; hungry for what they had. People begged to spend time with them, so they could have an opportunity to touch Jesus. They realized their deepest longings and aspirations would be met if they did so. Here’s what I’m thinking…
1. Jesus was attractive because of his amazing compassion for people. He realized that his generation was hungry for God and also had real practical needs. They were like ‘sheep without a shepherd’. He sought to bring solutions to these needs.
2. The disciples didn’t ‘get it’… they spent the most time with him but still didn’t understand his identity or agenda. The reason given for this is that their hearts were hardened.
3. It’s sad that today, people’s response to Jesus’ followers is usually quite different than it was for him. The brand Christian often seems to stand for intolerant, critical, religious people who lack compassion! Not many in our generation are beating their way to church doors hungry for what we have to offer. This seems to me a misrepresentation of the one we claim to stand for! Like a bad advertisement… Could it be that we too have lost the script? That our hearts have become hardened? That we spend time with him but have no idea about his identity and agenda?
I long for the day when crowds of people will beat their way to the doors of all churches in our city, hungry to touch the One who holds the answers to their deepest longings and aspirations.
Let’s represent the brand!
P.S. If you’re kinda lost reading through the book of Leviticus, check out what my sweetie has to say here. 🙂