When I look at Jesus throughout the Gospels, I see him challenging uptight religious practices and freeing people to enjoy God through his healings, sermons, and dinner parties. Surely he calls his followers to costly discipleship, but the way to follow God is not the austere, stodgy way of the Jewish leaders.
Jesus challenged the guilt and legalism that infected the people of God. His mission was to make it possible for people to actually enjoy God once again. That’s not to say he took sin lightly and will let his followers run amok–not in the least.
I see Jesus breaking God out of the religious mold. He didn’t just heal or preach in the synagogue. He prayed at all hours of the day. He instituted a meal at the center of Christianity.
In the end, he made God accessible to all people. He wanted a relationship with God to be as natural as an evening at home with one’s family. I hear him saying, “Relax. Now follow me.”
Relaxing does not mean we become apathetic. We relax in the peace that God brings and offer ourselves to him out of that calm place he has given us.
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