2015, I was blessed to hear Dr. Mark Allan Powell present on the
driving concerns that determined Jesus life (and death).
Powell was one of my seminary professors and one who leaks the Jesus spirit
wherever he goes!
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.
are the points Dr. Powell addressed:
was passionate about God!
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
was passionate about love!
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.
was passionate about community!
wanted everyone to be a part of a loving community – a community where people
prayed for each other, forgave each other, and worshiped 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!
was passionate about service!
maintained that the one who was the greatest was the one who served others –
and he insisted that power be used not to control people, but to
serve them. (Mark 10:42-44). Jesus was turning the paradigm of
coercive power into a power to serve upside down!
was passionate about justice!
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.
is passionate about God, love, community, service, and justice! Church… live with