Was Jesus a redneck? Well, He probably spoke like one.
A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” (Matthew 26:73)
Philip Yancey in his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, wrote how Galileans had backwoods accents, which turned off the educated elite in Jerusalem. The accents were so disliked that Galileans were seldom allowed to read Hebrew in the Temple. Then, to top it off, Nazareth (Jesus’ hometown) was the boondocks of Galilee, sort of a trailer court with cars on cinder blocks type of town.
Wow! This blew my mind thinking about Jesus speaking like a redneck, and not like a Harvard educated Jew. This adds even more oomph to Paul’s words:
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
This in no way subtracts from Jesus’ gospel message or that His words had spiritual life in them. But it does confront our love for image over substance in our leaders, especially Christian ones.
Now, this post today came about because I had an eye-opening disagreement with a few believers on Facebook yesterday. A man who is a great guy and writes from a strong theological background about America’s political problems, wrote his views on the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare:
What to say? What to do? It is a time to despair for the future of our republic…I only know what the church must do now. It must join the fight…A new group of leaders must come to represent the public face of biblical faith..All of this is part of the mission of the twenty-first century church…We have a nation, a culture, a civilization to pull back from the abyss. This will take generations. It will not be done with light, half believers with their casual creeds. It is time to get serious.
The 900-word article was well-written and made many good points, but a heavy emphasis was placed on America’s need for new Christian leaders. I commented:
I do agree we need new leaders, but the ones I think we need are those who have spent days in prayer and fasting and have heard the word of the Lord for our generation. I don’t care if they’re young, old, literate, or illiterate, but what is God saying now?
Because I’m so naive, I just assumed everyone would agree with me and punch the “Like” button, but none did. They were polite and kind with their disagreements. Yet I could tell they thought I was one of those weird guys walking down the street in a long robe, barefoot, and carrying a sign which read, “Repent. The world ends tomorrow.”
Their ideas leaned toward higher standards for our church leaders. Better education. Better training. Better speakers. Better grounded in conservative theology. Better this. And better that.
It’s not necessarily that I agreed with their thoughts on Obamacare or disagreed with their ideas on leadership. That actually had nothing to do with my final thinking. Not at all.
You see, this eye-opening revelation dawned on me: there is a wide chasm between what we American believers think Christian leaders should be and what the Bible shows them to be.
And it so saddened me to think believers might not hear what God is saying to them through His new leaders. Because after all, the new leaders might be a bunch of hicks and nobodies from Hootersville.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)