In 2015, I was blessed to hear Dr. Mark Allan Powell present on the driving concerns that determined Jesus life (and death). Dr. Powell was one of my seminary professors and one who leaks the Jesus spirit wherever he goes!
Dr. Powell addressed a handful of concerns that appear to have motivated just about everything Jesus said and did. These driving concerns shaped the faith of Jesus into a powerful dynamic that would survive his horrific death and ultimately make him the most influential person that ever lived.
Here are the points Dr. Powell addressed:
Jesus was passionate about God!
Mark 1:15 offers a one verse summary of the central message that Jesus called “the gospel” or good news. “God is ready and willing to rule your life – believe this – and act accordingly!” Jesus was more about surrender than seeking.
Jesus was passionate about love!
All that God wants or expects of us can be found in two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind!” and “Love your neighbor as yourself!” (Matthew 22:34-40; Deut 6:5; Lev. 19:18). When you hug a child you hug Jesus. When you beat a child you beat Jesus. We are called to love love love love love.
Jesus was passionate about community!
Jesus wanted everyone to be a part of a loving community – a community where people prayed for each other, forgave each other, and worshipped God together. (Matthew 16:18; 18:12-22). Did you know that in Jesus time when he was preaching and teaching, one out of four people were slaves? Jesus was constantly working to restore all into loving community!
Jesus was passionate about service!
Jesus maintained that the one who was the greatest was the one who served others – and he insisted that power be used not to control over people, but to serve them. (Mark 10:42-44). Jesus was turning upside down the paradigm of coercive power into a power to serve!
Jesus was passionate about justice!
Jesus took his “mission statement” words from the prophet Isaiah, claiming that he had been anointed by God to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, and to set free all who were oppressed (Luke 4:16-21; Isa. 61:1-2). Justice breaks out when God is on the loose in our lives. This justice is not justice as the world gives but justice as only Jesus through us can give! His body broken and poured out as we serve as the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus.
Jesus is passionate about God, love, community, service, and justice! Church……live with Jesus passion!