Saturday, 19 January 2019

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Blogs > No Mr. Rogers

No Mr. Rogers

Jesus is not Mr. Rogers. 

The Mr. Rogers I'm referring to is Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the long-running public TV show, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. 

From all I know of him, Fred Rogers was a wonderful man.  Did you know that he attended seminary and was an ordained minister?

But, back to my point, Jesus is not Mr. Rogers. 

Mr. Rogers was one of those rare individuals who seemed to be extremely patient, supremely kind, and most of all, absolutely nice.  Mr. Rogers was the kind of person who never seemed to offend anyone.

Jesus wasn't always nice.   And He definitely could be offensive.

Let me explain. 

In Matthew 15 Jesus confronts the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.  He calls them hypocrites.  After witnessing Jesus' exchange with His opponents, the disciples come to their Master and urge Him to be more tactful.  "Don't you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"

The disciples were right. Jesus had offended the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.  And He would go right on offending people all the way to the Cross.

It has remained this way throughout history.   A bloody cross is an eyesore.  It offends our modern sensibilities.  It just isn't nice.

Don't just take my word for it.  Listen to what the Apostle Paul had to say:  "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. . . .  Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified:  a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles" (see 1 Corinthians 1).

The truth of the matter is this:  Jesus is offensive.   The cross is extremely offensive. 

Even those closest to Christ had a hard time understanding what He was up to.  When John the Baptist began to doubt that Jesus was the Messiah, Christ replied to John’s messengers, “Blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.”  (See Luke 7:18-23)



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