In Aleandre Dumas’ classic, The Three Musketeers, he wrote, “Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures.”
I have always loved a good adventure, whether it be hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting, cliff diving, parenting, or immersing myself into an unfamiliar culture of a third world country on the other side of the world.
However, most of my adventures, including many of our own, have been walked by someone before us. Someone blazed that trail. Someone jumped off that cliff into the water. Someone raised two daughters. These people are pathfinders.
Jesus is a pathfinder. Jesus journeyed into the unknown of God walking among human kind, venturing into a new way of thinking and living. But Jesus invites us into the path that he has already ventured. He invites us into his way.
Jesus called people to follow him. The gospels call these people “disciples.” This is a derivative of the Greek verb akoloutheo, which means to follow or to be in the same with.
Jesus’ invitation is one of adventure, following in his footsteps as we walk the path already walked by he who is calling us.
The problem is that we think we know this Jesus. Yet what happens when the Jesus of the Gospels encounters the Jesus of Americanized Christianity?
What happens theologically within us when we see the Jesus of the New Testament who stands by the marginalized, the outcast, the so-called sinners, and the unrighteous?
What if the Jesus of the Bible has nothing to do with the terminology that has become so associated with his followers, such as Conservative, Liberal, Fundamentalist,
Progressive, Democrat, Republican, Baptist, Catholic, or Evangelical?
What happens when we encounter the Jesus of the Gospels that would not touch our political, economic, and social stances with a 10-foot pole?
Beginning this Sunday, we will journey into the life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus found in the Gospel of Matthew. Join us as we set out on an adventure of following the one calling us into a new life.
If you miss a Sunday, you can always catch up with the Sunday sermon conversations at www.ubc-br.org/podcast or in iTunes “UBC Baton Rouge.”