I don’t know if you’ve followed the new video series on the life of Christ entitled,
“The Chosen.” It has received a lot of accolades. The first season was produced in eight segments and it will continue next season with at least that many more. It has much to commend it. The script is sensitive to the Bible story and the setting the film creates is probably the truest to Scripture of any I’ve seen.
I haven’t watched the entire first series, but early in the narrative as Jesus is calling the twelve who will become disciples and they are attempting to digest exactly what it is He is calling them to and the price He is asking them to pay, He makes this breath-catching statement, “Get used to different.”
Wow, was He right! Read thoughtfully the sermon He preached on the hillside; we call it the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, & 7). It’s totally counterculture.
No one else was saying what He said. “No one speaks like He speaks,” they reported.
- If you are even angry with someone you are subject to judgment.” (Mt 5:22)
- Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery with her in his heart. (5:28)
- If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. (5:29)
Like He said, Get used to different. He kept insisting that our external conduct was important because it revealed what was inside, and that’s what He wanted to change. Blessed are the pure…in heart, He said. We come into this world aliens by birth and rebels by choice. On our own we can do nothing more than a flimsy list of new year’s resolutions.
But to become a follower of Jesus does not mean we make a one-time promise and then life continues as before. To become a follower of Jesus means we spend enough time with Him that everything begins to change. “What I once loved I have come to hate,” the Apostle Paul reflects. “What I once hated I now love,” is his confession. If you walk with Jesus very far you know that.
We soak in His Word. We submit every decision to His authority. We relate to him like young Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” And we discover that therein lies, not restriction, but true liberty. He frees us to become everything He designed us to be. How’s that for different?
By Don Jacobsen