Followers of Jesus Should Often Take the World by Surprise

Jesus, our Leader, was unpredictable.  That is because sinful people expected Him to act sinfully.  Since they didn't believe, it was easy to see Him as less than He was.

Whether it was paying taxes, matters of the Law, marriage and divorce, it didn't matter.  They could never figure Jesus out because they always expected a self-serving, divisive, biased, in a word, a sinful reaction like what they would give.

We should be the same as Jesus was.  The world anticipates a sinful attitude, action or reaction out of us.  And unfortunately, we rarely disappoint.

Instead, they should be surprised by us, our attitudes, actions and reactions.  We wouldn't be perfect by any measure but living as imperfect followers of Jesus who often take people by surprise just as Jesus did.  Then, they would be forced to deal with the fact that our faith is real and makes a genuine difference in our lives.

Another thing you will find is that people expect you to be true to your roots.  And, they are always surprised when you are not.  For instance, men were surprised at Peter and John, Galilean fisherman, speaking with wisdom and courage.  That defied their enemies' expectations.  Those very same adversaries were forced to admit that the only way that could be possible was that they had been with Jesus.  In other words, Jesus made a difference in these backwards, uneducated fishermen (see Acts 4).

In response to Christians like us who may have been raised in less than perfect families or even communities, the world expects that we will conform to the pattern with which we were raised.  The biases, the prejudices, the abuse or neglect, the urban or suburban or rural environment will come through despite our claims to the difference that Christ can make in a life.  When our attitudes, words and actions don't, the world is always taken by surprise.  They then may be forced to come to grips with the idea that Christ does change hearts and lives, contrary to their preconceived ideas.

Imagine if we decided to be better Christians than Americans?  Better children of God than children of men? Citizens of heaven than reflections of the city, burbs or rural area in which we grew up?  If so, often enough, the world would be surprised by our attitudes, our words and our conduct just as they were by Jesus'.

Are you up to the challenge?

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