The Bible amazes me. My whole life, I have been exposed to church, Sunday school and Bible teachings. Yet, the older I get and the more I read it, the more amazing it becomes. I can read something I've read a hundred times, and it will be like brand new and the Holy Spirit will reveal new truths that I've never seen before. I love reading the Psalms -- they are so uplifting and help me to praise and worship. Proverbs teach about wisdom and give so much practical advice for every day life. Other Old Testament books have all the great stories, and the Epistles in the New Testament teach us how to live the Christian life. As much as I love all those parts of the Bible, lately I've had a desire to read more about Jesus and his life. I have started to see him in new ways that I haven't thought about before. Almost everything about Jesus is so different from the "mold" that we as Christians seem to think we are supposed to fit into.
1. Jesus was born to an unwed mother, or maybe I should say he was conceived by an unwed woman. We (Christians) sometimes look down upon a teenage girl who gets pregnant before being married. We know that Mary was a virgin, but I wonder what all her neighbors thought about her and how they treated her. They probably didn't understand the circumstances and maybe just saw her the way we see an unwed, pregnant teenager.
2. Jesus was born in a stable. This blows my mind -- our Savior, Messiah and King, God who created the universe humbled himself so much as to be born in a place meant for animals. Can you imagine your own baby being born outside, in a barn, with animals around?
3. Jesus was homeless. I mean, I guess he was homeless. The Bible says he had "no place to lay his head." I think we as Christians sometimes look down on homeless people. Sometimes we are very judgemental toward them. We try to avoid them because they might not smell so good or they might ask us for money.
4. Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman. In that day, the Jewish people hated the Samaritans and would avoid them at all cost, even taking a longer journey to keep from passing through Samaria. Jesus not only went through Samaria, but stopped and asked a woman for water -- a woman who'd been married five times and was then living with a man who was not her husband. This woman who was even shunned by the other women because of her lifestyle, was the first person to whom Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah.
These are just a few examples of how Jesus broke the mold of our way of thinking. While I love the traditions of the church, there are times we need to break the mold of what our traditions have taught us that Christianity is. Christianity is so much more than just going to church on Sunday. The best examples we have of breaking out of the "Christian mold" are the examples from our own Lord.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32
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