It’s Wednesday, and I’m stirring on a problem. It seems to me that many people view Jesus’ ministry far too narrowly, and, (time for a new Spiveyism) "utilitarianly"–biased toward their areas of passion and ministry. In the last 14 days or so, I’ve heard that Jesus was exclusively, or at least primarily about the following:
-reaching the lost
-visiting the sick
-helping the poor
-ministering to children
-comforting the grieving
Not coincidently, each of those speaking were involved in ministries in the church or beyond that were about one or more of the aforementioned practices. All of these well-meaning people cite Scriptures to support their case as though Luke 4, Matthew 25, Matthew 5, Matthew 28, John 13, etc. were the only passages in the Bible. It never ceases to fail…Jesus is most passionate about what I am most passionate about.
The truth is that Jesus was about all of the things listed above. He was more "both/and" than "either/or" in his ministry, and was altogether righteous in every way. We do not need to justify why our ministries exist, or why we are passionate about what we are by playing the "Jesus was about" game.
Our passions are often a reflection of God’s Spirit working within us, and in that sense, we are working in partnership with God to carry out his purposes. As Christians, we must have reverence for how God works in the hearts of others, and for the whole of God’s counsel…which testifies to the fact that God is concerned with things more numerous and than my ministry, or any single area of ministry. I’m not saying that God is concerned equally about all things. It’s that he’s concerned about all things.
We should also take into account our humanness, utilitarianism, self-interest, and other vices that may cloud our judgment of what God thinks, and have reverence for the wisdom of others seeking the way of Jesus who can illumine new ways of participating in the life of God.