Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Pantheon and Jesus

What's the difference between the pantheon of gods and Jesus? And what does this have to do with your view of God?

Back in the days where people followed the gods of the pantheon, they would do things to make the gods happy. For example, say you were a farmer, you would want to make Ceres, the god of the harvest happy. You would offer grain offerings. If the harvest was good, then you would know that Ceres was happy with you. If the harvest was not good, then you must not have paid enough homage to Ceres!
Sadly, most of us have transferred this posture toward the God of the Bible. If we go to church enough, are nice enough, give a bunch of cash to the church, then God will be happy with us, and in turn make us happy, prosperous, or make life easy. And if life is bad, than God is mad.

Then Jesus teaches on this subject & turns this faulty view upside down-

Versus Animism,greek religion: “Followers of Jesus, God isn’t angry with you!!!”

20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,

“God blesses you who are poor,

for the Kingdom of God is yours.

21 God blesses you who are hungry now,

for you will be satisfied.

God blesses you who weep now,

for in due time you will laugh.

It doesn’t say you will now make the poor disciples rich, the hungry satisfied, or those who weep laugh. In time you will, but in your time. Our time is right now! Your time may be different. It may be immediate, it may be in the near future, but it will be in your presence. None the less, we are to count it all joy, blessedness if we suffer now, and are not to see it as a curse, or that you are angry at us. This is very counter-cultural.

22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

24 “What sorrow awaits you who are rich,

for you have your only happiness now.

25 What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now,

for a time of awful hunger awaits you.

What sorrow awaits you who laugh now,

for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.

26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,

for their ancestors also praised false prophets.

Jesus never teaches that if you accept Him, you will be prosperous financially, or even physically. Remember, Jesus was homeless and a man of sorrows. Paul was left hungry, thirsty, in jail, beaten, shipwrecked, poisoned, and had many people reject him. Our focus as a follower of Jesus is to follow Jesus in whatever station He places us. For a Christian, God is already well-pleased with you, because He is well-pleased with His Son.

Be of good cheer!