One of my favorite things about Jesus is how often he completely flips the script on people. It’s one of my favorite things when it happens to some of the “bad guys” in Scripture (i.e. the religious elite, the corrupt, and the power-hungry) but it’s one of my least favorite things when he does it to me.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s favorite move was the sky hook shot.
Jesus’ favorite move might have been this stunning role reversal, the Sixth Sense-esque twist at the end of the story where you discover everything you thought up until that point has been wrong.
This upside-down nature is how Jesus led his life and how He’s commanded us to live ours.
- To gain our life, we must lose it. (Matthew 16:25)
- When we die one day, it will be seen as a gain, not a loss. (Philippians 1:21)
- One day, those who are last now will be first, and vice versa. (Mark 10:31)
As followers of Jesus, our lives should imitate this upside-down nature of the kingdom of God. This primarily expresses itself when the world calls our way of life weak, yet Jesus calls it strong.
When Weakness is Actually Strength
Shortly after the Christmas decorations disappear from the store shelves each year, pink hearts and Cupid’s arrows take their place. Far too often, our culture sends the message that love is a mostly feminine, passive emotion.
In many ways, culture paints love as a very weak thing. The Bible, however, paints love as an incredibly strong decision, not a weak emotion.
The image of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is anything but weak or passive.
- hopeful no matter what
We’re also called to love our enemies, the very people who hate us. It takes incredible strength to love people like Jesus.
Today’s culture often sees humility as lack of ambition at best, and foolishness at worst.
To be humble means you must stop constantly promoting yourself and posturing for better and grander positions. True humility means that when your friends succeed, at times instead of you, you can genuinely rejoice with them instead of writhing in envy.
Humility and contentedness fly in the face of a culture that never stops screaming, “More!” Our upside-down Savior simultaneously screams, “Enough!”
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – Matthew 23:12
Have you ever seen a truly desperate person? Maybe you’ve been a truly desperate person.
There’s not much room in today’s “everything is fine” world for true desperation. It’s seen as embarrassing. Yet desperation is the one necessary precursor to genuine faith.
“Blessed are the
rich, ones-who-have-it-all-together, successful, poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3
To ever gain the kingdom of heaven, you must first realize that you’re poor in spirit, spiritually bankrupt, desperate for God to move, save, and reconcile.
If you think you have everything together, one day everything will fall apart.