I wish Jesus didn’t say some of the things He said. I am not embarrassed by them. I am not angry over them. I don’t even disagree with them. It’s just that they are hard to swallow. Sometimes there was no spoonful of sugar going down with the medicine He gently shoved down people’s throats.
Jim Collins wrote a book entitled, Good to Great. While researching, he found companies that went from being good to great. They all shared some of the same qualities. One quality was the ability to confront “the brutal facts of reality.” In other words, they did an honest assessment of where they actually were rather than assuming they were already where they wanted to be. The truth was undeniable, and they bravely confronted the brutal facts of their current reality.
That’s what every man, woman, and child must do. We must courageously confront the brutal facts about our reality. Jesus spoke the brutal facts to people. He did it with respect. He did it with compassion. Even when He rebuked his followers, drove people out of the Temple with a whip, or called the religious leaders of the day “Vipers,” Jesus still gave respect and showed compassion. He spoke the truth in love.
My spirit longs to hear what Jesus said. My flesh repels it. Over the next several weeks we will look at some things our flesh hates that Jesus said. The Spirit of God will draw us in. Our flesh will want to run and hide. Can I challenge you to stay and confront the brutal facts? The series will not be delivered from some experts looking down. It will be given by fellow strugglers walking alongside.
Join us this Sunday at Journey as we look at the first of 5 challenging statements Jesus made. He said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it.” He said it 2000 years ago. He is still saying it today. And I wish He wouldn’t have said that. Or do I?