Katholisch Leben!

The Jesus Brothers

Solidarität mit den Armen und Ausgegrenzten

„Wie können wir am Sonntag einen Obdachlosen anbeten und am Montag einen ignorieren?“

Shane Claiborne

Eine der folgenschwersten Tendenzen sowohl in Pfarrgemeinden als auch was jeden Katholiken und jede Katholikin angeht: Wir haben die Sorge für Arme, Notleidende, Alte, Einsame, Gefangene, Obdachlose, Flüchtlinge usw. professionellen Hilfsorganisationen überlassen. Die können das ja viel besser als wir.

Das Problem hierbei: so einfach geht das nicht. Wir können nicht jemand anderes dafür bezahlen, unseren Nächsten zu lieben und dies in Werken der Nächstenliebe zum Ausdruck zu bringen. Jeder Mensch und jede Pfarrgemeinde ist gerufen, hier selbst aktiv zu werden.

Sehen wir uns die Bergpredigt an: das erste Mal, als Jesus Seine zwölf Jünger - Fischer, Zöllner und andere infache Menschen - zusammen sitzen hatte, brachte Er ihnen in der Bergpredigt mit einfachen Worten bei, worauf es ankommt. Was, wenn Jesus wirklich gemeint hatte, was Er damals sagt? Die Hungernden ernähren, Kranke und Gefangene besuchen usw.? Er sagte, dass wir das, was wir dem Geringsten Seiner Brüder tun, Ihm selbst tun. Jesus sprach nicht davon, einen Teil unseres Überflusses irgendwelchen Organisationen zu geben, die das besser können. Er wandte sich an jeden einzelnen von uns.

Natürlich sind professionelle Organisationen gut und wichtig, das spricht aber niemanden - weder Einzelpersonen noch Pfarrgemeinden - davon frei, selbst in dieser Richtung aktiv werden zu müssen. Die Grundvollzüge jeder Pfarrgemeinde sind untrennbar miteinander verbunden:

- Martyria (Glaubenszeugnis und Glaubensweitergabe)
- Leiturgia (Liturgie)
- Diakonia (Werke der Nächstenliebe)
- Koinonia (Gemeinschaft als Glieder des einen Leib Christi)

Wir können uns nicht eines herausnehmen (etwa die Liturgie) und den Rest anderen überlassen. Ohne Liturgie, ohne die Eucharistie als lebensspendende Quelle, macht alles andere keinen Sinn. Ohne Werke der Nächstenliebe aber wird auch Liturgie zu einer leeren Hülse.

Wir zeigen Solidarität mit Armen, Ausgegrenzten und Notleidenden jeglicher Art, indem wir auf gleiche Augenhöhe mit ihnen gehen, nicht indem wir ihnen eine Münze hinwerfen. Wenn wir ihnen nicht mit Liebe begegnen und wenn wir ihnen nicht selbst begegnen, macht alles andere keinen Sinn.

"I was hungry and you formed a humanities club and discussed my hunger.

I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.

I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.

I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.

I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.

I was lonely and you left me alone to go and pray for me.

You seem so holy, so close to God.

But I'm still very hungry and lonely and cold."

--Author unknown


Wer etwas "Gutes" tut, also anderen Menschen in irgendeiner Form hilft oder helfen will, sollte im Kopf immer folgende Checkliste haben:

1. Subsidiarität: Ich helfe Menschen nur dort, wo sie sich nicht selbst helfen können und wenn möglich befähige ich sie, dies zu tun.
2. Ich höre immer wieder in mich hinein: Warum tue ich das eigentlich? Wirklich nur für die anderen oder weil ich damit - bewusst oder unbewusst - ein eigenes Gefühl oder Bedürfnis befriedigen will? Beispiele: Emotionale oder soziale Bedürfnisse, Geltungsbedürfnisse, Bedürfnis danach, gebraucht zu werden, gerne im Mittelpunkt stehen oder kommandieren, Helfer-Syndrom etc. Am besten in Supervision.
3. Ich sorge dafür, dass ich auch fachlich qualifiziert bin.
4. Ich achte auf meine eigene körperliche, psychische und spirtuelle Gesundheit.
5. Ich gebe meinen Glauben und meine Überzeugungen dabei nicht ab.
6. Ich werte Kritik nicht automatisch als persönlichen Angriff.
7. Ich tue dies uneigennützig und bedingungslos. So darf ich meine Hilfe nicht nur auf Menschen einer Religion beschränken. Auch muss ich damit rechnen, dass sich der Hilfeempfänger nicht zwangsweise danbkbar zeigt.
8. Ich sage den Hilfeempfängern, was sie hören müssen und nicht nur, was sie hören wollen. Ebenso verfahre ich mit meinen Taten.
9. Ich liebe andere, weil Gott mich zuerst geliebt hat.
10. Wenn ich etwas Gutes tue, rede ich nicht darüber. Ich gebe nicht damit an und halte mich nicht für etwas Besonderes deswegen.

Sammlungen für wohltätige Organisationen in Gottesdiensten

Zu bestimmten oder unbestimmten Terminen („Caritas-Sonntag“) gibt es Sammlungen für gemeinnützige und mildtätige Organisationen während des Gottesdienstes , wobei die Erträge etwa im Schlüssel 60/40 aufgeteilt werden (60% für die Organisation, 40% für die Gemeinde) – manchmal aber auch zu 100% dem gemeinnützigen Zweck zukommen.

An sich also eine gute Sache, oder?

Ja und nein. Es ist selbstverständlich gut und notwendig, dass Sammlungen für die gute Arbeit, die diese Organisationen durchführen, gemacht werden. Allein das „wie“ und auch mögliche Konsequenzen hiervon machen mir Sorgen.

So kommt es durchaus vor, dass – wohl mit den besten Absichten – an Stelle der Predigt ein Vortrag eines Mitarbeiters bzw. einer Mitarbeiterin einer solchen Organisation tritt. Hier soll die Gemeinde über das informiert werden, was mit dem gespendeten Geld dort geschieht. Hört sich ganz gut an – ist aber grundfalsch. Zum einen ist die Liturgie einer Hl. Messe nie und nimmer der geeignete Rahmen, um für Spendenzwecke zu werben. Erst recht darf dies nicht an Stelle einer Predigt treten. Die Predigt eines geweihten Mannes (Priester oder Diakon), der „in persona Christi“, also durch die apostolischen Nachfolge in Person Jesu Christ selbst spricht ist niemals zu ersetzen durch Spendenaktionen – so gut sie auch sein mögen. Umso mehr, als dieser Vortrag dann – gewollt oder ungewollt – bereits Züge einer Laien-Predigt enthält, die aber nur unter sehr begrenzten Voraussetzungen überhaupt in einer katholischen Messe erlaubt ist (eben weil dieser Mensch dann „in persona ecclesia“ – also für die Kirche, und nicht in Person Jesu Christi spricht. In anderen Worten: er/sie gibt seine eigene Meinung wieder, was nicht Sinn und Zweck einer Predigt ist).

Ist es denn überhaupt sinnvoll, solche Sammlungen durchzuführen?

Selbstverständlich –unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen. Man mag in diesem Zusammenhang noch so oft betonen, dass uns dies nicht von unserer Christenpflicht der Nächstenliebe entbindet, genau dies kann aber ein ungewünschter Nebeneffekt sein. Die „Experten“ von dieser oder jener Organisation können das doch so viel besser als ich, also gebe ich denen mein Geld und gut ist es. Ist es eben nicht. Ich kann nicht jemanden bezahlen, um meinen Nächsten zu lieben. Derartige Sammlungen dürfen niemals eigene Aktivitäten der Pfarrgemeinde und der Einzelnen ersetzen. Shane Claiborne von „The Simple Way“ (USA) hat einmal darauf hingewiesen, dass es nicht so sehr das Problem ist, dass wir nichts für die Armen tun – wir kennen sie einfach nicht. Wir geben unser Geld oder unsere Sachspenden an irgendwelche Organisationen – so gut und „professionell“ die auch sein mögen – und arme und bedürftige Menschen bekommen von dort Hilfe. Wir kommen mit ihnen also gar nicht in Kontakt, was aber ein wesentliches Merkmal des Christentums ist!

Wie viel sinnvoller wäre es also, an den betreffenden Sonntagen vor dem Kirchengebäude vor und nach der Messe einen Stand aufzubauen, an dem Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter einer Organisation die Gemeinde-Glieder informieren. Darauf kann im Gottesdienst dann hingewiesen werden. Gleichzeitig sollten sich Gremien oder Einzelpersonen innerhalb der Gemeinde kundig machen, welche Art von Not es innerhalb des Gebietes der Pfarrei gibt (also etwa Obdachlosenunterkünfte, Altenheime, Flüchtlingsheime, Gefängnisse usw.). Hier können dann konkret und dauerhaft – durchaus auch in Zusammenarbeit mit o.g. Organisationen! – Hilfsmaßnahmen organisiert werden, bei denen die Gemeinde-Glieder eingebunden werden und über die die Gemeinde regelmäßig auf dem Laufenden gehalten wird.

Na, wie wäre es damit?

Robert

You don't need to bring us Jesus!

Yes, we've been gone for so long. We've been outsiders - and still are. "The marginalized" you call us - and you use us to knock off your loving the unlovable off the list. You want to bring Jesus to us hookers, pimps, inmates, gays, drug addicts, homeless and what not. We don't need you to bring us Jesus so you feel better and can tap yourselves on your shoulders. Jesus is already here. Yes, we left our old lives behind, but we are still "we" - and that's alright with God. We went to those nice and fancy church buildings where they all asemble - all those nicely dressed people, some of which we knew too well from their double lives. They "welcome" us, but all the time they let us feel they are something better - and we are not.
Oh, they certainly know how to hide that behind spiritually or wanna-be-psychologically sounding phrases - "You might want to pray about...", "Don't take it personal, but...", "A Christian does not say/wear/do this/does not listen to this music...", "This looks like you're still gay/a hooker/a drug addict/a criminal..." - you get the point.

Then you wonder why so many call Christians hypocrite. Because many of you are. We sure don't need churches and Christians like these and we can smell your true attitude a mile away. This is why we feel much better among our own. Yes, we are Christians now - and certainly not worse ones than you are - and this is why our folks love us like we are. No "but" attached. And vice versa. We do not have to look like a middle class American John Doe in his suit and tie to worship the Lord. We dress up for Him - but that might look different than what you know. Who are you to tell us we should pray about our behavior - meaning to say you are standing on your hill, pretending to be God and having all the truth in the world. You are a sinner like the rest of us, not better, not worse.

When we follow Jesus, we are dead serious about it. We see you spreading much "wisdom" on facebook and telling everybody what should be done - but when we ask you to join us going out on the street to all those wild places where you find those people Jesus loves so much, you give us a trillion excuses why you cannot come along. Teary-eyed snowflakes, that's what you are. Chicken. Your house is not built on a rock and your seed fell among thorns.

So with all of our heart we tell you: Keep on doing whatever you think you should be doing, but leave us and our likes alone. We don't need you. We need Jesus - and we assemble for and with Him and we go to meet Him. Actually, it is pretty easy. He assembled twelve simple men called apostles and told them on the Sermon of the Mount the basics of what a believer in God is all about. This is what we go by.

We have two words for you:

Bless you.

Rob


Hilfe in Notlagen? Aber klar doch, aber bestenfalls Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe nach dem Subsidiaritätsprinzip! Manchmal kommt mir schon die Galle hoch, wenn Menschen einen Job haben, der nicht zum Leben reicht, den Rest mit Grundsicherung aufgefüllt bekommen und dann meinen, sie "dürften" nicht mehr verdienen, da ihnen sonst die Sozialhilfe gekürzt werde. Na und? So soll es doch sein? Oder Menschen, die die eidesstattliche Versicherung abgeben und dann meinen, sie "dürften" nicht mehr wie einen Betrag X verdienen, da ihnen das sonst gekürzt werde. Na und? Dann gehen eure Gläubiger wenigstens nicht ganz lehr aus! Sollten Schulden nicht bezahlt werden?

Weiter im Text: Menschen, die Schulden bei anderen machen, die sie lange kennen und bei denen sie wissen, dass ein gewisses Vertrauens- und Freundschaftsverhältnis da ist. Wohl wissend, dass sie diese Schulden nie zurück zahlen können - und vielleicht auch gar nicht wollen. In den Urlaub fahren kann man aber schon.

Suppenküche? Manna? Münchner Tafel? Kleiderkammer? Möbellager? Ist ja schön, dass Lebensmittel und gebrauchte Sachen wiederverwendet werden. Nur unterstützt man damit die Unselbständigkeit der Notleidenden (warum sollten sie den Hintern bewegen, wenn sie alles umsonst bekommen?) und hindert den Staat davon, seiner Verantwortung den Notleidenden nachzukommen (es gibt ja genügend Ehrenamtliche, die das machen).

Wenn man dann aus welchen Gründen auch immer berechtigterweise Hartz IV oder Grundsicherung bezieht, wäre es da nicht angemessen, sich ehrenamtlich zu betätigen, um zumindest eine Gegenleistung für die Gesellschaft zu erbringen? Außerdem sieht es in jedem Lebenslauf besser aus, wenn man nachweisen kann, man hätte sich ehrenamtlich betätigt, als wenn da nur steht, er/sie hat Geld vom Staat bekommen und nichts dafür getan. Ganz abgesehen davon bekommt man so den Fuß in die Tür so mancher Firma.

Obdachlose? Natürlich muss man hier das individuelle Schicksal betrachten und ihnen wieder auf die Füße helfen. Mein Mitleid hält sich aber in Grenzen, wenn die Betreffenden das nicht wollen. Niemand muss obdachlos sein. Wer will, bekommt von der Stadtverwaltung eine Unterkunft, Verpflegung, Sozialberatung etc. zugewiesen. Wer trotzdem obdachlos ist, ist dies, weil er/sie das will (!) - und dagegen ist kein Kraut gewachsen.

Mag sein, dass ich nun einigen auf den politisch korrekten Schlips getreten bin. Sei's drum. Das musste mal gesagt werden.


Sickly Sam

JOHN 5:1-14

Has anybody ever treated you badly, just because maybe you are poor or sick?

Sure, that happens sometimes to all of us in one way or another.

For example, a guy wearing rich clothes one day is walking down the street and he sees someone up ahead who is sitting by the side of the road.

This poor man has no home, no money and has to sleep behind garbage bins at night.

And he has a hat on the ground, hoping that people would give him money so he could at least buy himself a bowl of soup and maybe get a cheap room for the night so he could sleep on a bed and get a bath.

The rich guy walks by and says; “Hey, get a job, you stink, take a bath.”

That would not be a very nice to do, would it?

What could this rich man have done instead?

Prov. 14:21 says; “He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” (King James Version)

To put it another way, God is saying; “If you treat the poor really bad, you are a sinner.”

God is angry with people who treat the poor badly, who treat them like trash.

But God says; “He is happy with those who treat the poor well."

He is pleased when you give the poor money to help them buy food, and shelter and clothes.

Suppose now this poor guy at the end of the day finds a place behind a restaurant to lay down for the night.

And he climbs into the garbage bin looking for scraps of food to eat.

Suddenly the restaurant owner comes out and finds this poor guy scavenging for something to eat in the garbage bin.

And he yells at the guy; “Get out of here, it is illegal for you to be stealing garbage out of my garbage bin. Get out of here before I call the police.”

Suppose someone else comes along and though he has little money, he buys this poor guy some bread and offers him a place to sleep for a while.

Which one is a sinner, and which one is God well pleased with?

Jesus said in Matthew 25 that when we do something good to the poor and needy, we have also done it to Him.

Jesus is very happy with us when we treat strangers and the poor and needy well.

When we get to heaven, Jesus is going to tell us how happy He was with us when we did something nice to help a poor person.

Now, let me tell you of a real story that is in the Bible about a poor crippled man.

We do not know this man’s real name, but we are going to call him; SICKLY SAM

In John Chapter 5: verses 1-14, we read the story about Sickly Sam.

His story is much like the story I just told you about the poor man who had to scramble into a garbage bin to get something to eat.

In the Bible we are told that Jesus found Sickly Sam laying on a mat beside the pool of Bethsada near the sheep gate. V:2

Everyday people would bring their blind, sick, paralyzed and crippled friends and family to the pool of Bethsada. V:4

Sickly Sam was a crippled man whom Jesus had found beside the pool of Bethesda laying on a mat.

Sickly Sam’s friends had been bringing him to the pool for 38 years.

It was believed that once a day an angel would come and stir the water in the pool.

It was also believed that anyone who entered the water when the water was stirred would be healed of whatever disease they may have.

But because Sickly Sam was crippled, he could not get into the pool when the water was stirred.

Always, someone else would go into the water before he could even crawl or drag himself into the water.

And no one would help him get into the water when the water was stirred.

So one day while Sickly Sam was laying by the pool of water, Jesus came and said:

“Do you want to be healed?”

Poor Sickly Sam!

He had no idea that the man talking to him was Jesus.

And he had no idea that because Jesus is God, He can do anything He wants.

So it is nothing for Jesus to be able to heal this man.

Sickly Sam answered and said; ”Oh, dear sir, I have no one to put me in the water when the water is stirred. And when I try to get into the water, someone else steps into the water before me.”

Poor Sickly Sam !

He did not realize that Jesus did not want to help him get into the water, but that Jesus wanted to heal him completely.

To Sickly Sam’s surprise, Jesus said; “Get up and take your mat and walk.”

And to everyone’s surprise Sickly Sam did just that.

He stood up, and picked up his mat and walked.

Can you imagine the looks in all the people’s faces when they saw Sickly Sam get up and start walking?

Why, that can’t be possible they would say to one another.

After all, Sickly Sam has been crippled for 38 years.

It wasn’t long before the chief priest heard about this and he was angry, because according to the peoples laws, you cannot do any work on a, what we call a Sunday.

So the priest asked, how is it, and who was it that healed you on a Sunday.

Sickly Sam had no idea who it was that healed him.

All he knew is that earlier he could not walk, but now he could.

Was it wrong for Jesus to heal Sickly Sam just because it was a Sunday?

Of course not!

Jesus was showing the people that there is nothing wrong with helping the poor or helping someone in need, no matter what day it is.

Jesus was showing the people that sometimes man’s laws are silly.

Just like it was silly for the restaurant owner to tell the poor man that he can’t take scrap food out of the garbage bin.

So the next time you want to do something good or kind to someone, just do it no matter when or what day it is.

Jesus is happy when you good things to help others, especially for the poor no matter what day it is.

Andre


 

Christian Anarchism - A Manifesto

Christianity and anarchism are two term that do not seem to go together – at first look. On a second thought, however, they make perfect sense and complement each other.
The Jesus Brothers are a Christian community that wants to go back to where Jesus once started off and devote their lives to the poor, the needy, the oppressed and depressed, the desperate, the sad, the sick, the disabled, the handicapped, the hungry, the prisoners, the lonely, the drug addicts, the prostitutes and those with same-sex attractions. We don’t want to just talk about them or donate something anonymously to big organizations (as useful as that might be) without even getting to see those we want to reach out to, we want to be with them, live with them – be one of them and part of them. We want to share their joys and their pains – and be with them when they are persecuted and oppressed.


The Jesus Brothers also see the need to boldly proclaim the Christian faith – including addressing those who live by oppressing others. Injustice needs to be openly and actively dealt with – in whatever circumstances it is to be found and whoever commits unjust acts (including ourselves!).


Jesus Himself spoke in no uncertain terms to and about the big shots of His time: the Pharisees, the political leaders, the rich. However, He also reminded us of unloving, unjust, selfish, lustful, proud, violent, greedy, and hateful attitudes within us.


Jesus showed us through His own example what it means to be a servant: He gave His life out of love – among others for those that society spat upon. He showed us that it is the last who will be the first and that without selfless love, whatever we do is not worth a thing. His love asked for nothing and was for free. He showed us the way to a life where we need not cry anymore, where there won’t be no oppression, no hunger, no pain. A life where love abounds.


The Jesus Brothers want to mirror through their own community life what it means that we are all equal before God. That none is better or more important than the others. In cases where a leadership is needed for whatever reasons, it will only be temporary and elected by those the leaders will later on serve – much like the concept of councils or other forms of organization in an anarchist society.


The Jesus Brothers do not have personal belongings. Whatever is needed to live will be shared by all. Vegetarian food is strongly recommended. The Jesus Brothers also want to show the love for God’s creation by living a life based on ecological principles and loving each and every one of God’s creatures – including the animals.


Much like in Anarchism the Jesus Brothers believe that the way needs to point towards the end. Whatever we do should already reflect the life God wants us to live. When people see us they should say, “See how they love one another” (Tertullian). That includes the way we treat those who hate us, attack us or do us wrong. While we openly address injustice and oppression, we do not want to incite a violent revolt against the oppressors, but a loving revolution. Just like Jesus we want to love those who hate us and do good to those who hurt us. We believe in the scandal of the cross: the ultimate drama of the Son of God being nailed on a piece of wood became the greatest blessing to the world.


The Jesus Brothers reach out with love to our Anarchist brothers and sisters, with whom we share many ideals. We offer you our hands and hope you will accept them and walk with us – side by side – towards that life that we all long for.


If it has to be done, we will walk “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23 KJV) with you and all those that have to suffer injustice. We will not turn our backs, but aim to become a living example of the love of Christ for those that need Him most.


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)


The Jesus Brothers

“Matthew 5
1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
34But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
(Matthew 5, King James Version)


 

What if Jesus Really Meant What He Said?

Matthew 5:1-48

King James Version (KJV)
Matthew 5

 1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

 2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

 3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

 9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

 20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 21Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

 22But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

 23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

 24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

 25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

 26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

 27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

 32But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

 33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

 34But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

 35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

 36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

 37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

 39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

 40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

 43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

Sell and Give it to the Poor!

Mark 10:17-31 (King James Version)

17And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

28Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

31But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

What if Jesus really meant what He said? What if He wants us to give more than just the scraps, more than just the surplus, but what really hurts us? Many of us are blessed with more than what we really need - not so we possess more, but that we can give more! How many things do we have at home that we don't really need? How much did we spend on things that we could have gotten a lot cheaper as well? Imagine the good we could have done with what could have been saved - if we only had saved it! Imagine if this "if" could become reality and our desires would not be for material possessions or a comfortable life, but for serving those in need!

How many times have we tried to explain those verses away or twist them long enough so they suit whatever is comfortable for us. But, what if Jesus was serious about that? Jesus was pretty radical in His lifestyle (remember - He was homeless himself: "And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Luke 9:58 King James Version.

Why should those who follow Jesus have a bed of roses when the rabbi had a crown of thorns?

This might sound crazy to many of us. Radical. Fundamentalist.

Or Christ-like...

1 Timothy 6

King James Version (KJV)

1Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

2And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

13I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

15Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

17Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

19Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

20O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

Recommended resource:

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

David Platt (Author)

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: Multnomah Books; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1601422210

ISBN-13: 978-1601422217