What is the Simple Way of Jesus?

In January 2015, after a PhD in theology and a decade of being a full-time pastor, I began a concentrated study of the person of Jesus. This study has been a complete game changer for me. I have read numerous books about Jesus and preached dozens of messages out of the book of Matthew. I feel like I have been completely reintroduced to Jesus. And the more I know Jesus, the more I want to know him. He's that captivating a person!

Along the way as I preached for week after week out of Jesus' great Sermon on the Mount, one observation kept popping up. It's one of the most important things I've learned about Jesus. He promotes a connection with God and a way of life that is stunningly simple. He cuts through red tape like he was born with a machete in his hand.


Here's an example. In the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

Most of us grow up treating people as we believe they deserve to be treated. It goes by name like justice or fairness. However, Jesus labels that kind of life as something the tax collectors (notorious sinners) and pagans did. Seeing through all that, Jesus says, a la Baloo the Bear, "You're workin' too hard." In order to determine what people deserve, you have to do a lot of calculations. That's too much math. Jesus teaches instead that we should love everyone in total simplicity. No calculations. No math.

That's just one way Jesus cuts through complexity and teaches simplicity. Another example: his invitation, "Come to me," was issued to everyone around him, regardless of background or track record. No calculations. No math.

I'll be writing about this theme a great deal. The more I do life in a culture that promotes over-scheduling, overloading, overcomplicating and overdoing, the more refreshed and challenged I am by the Simple Way of Jesus.

If you're craving rest, simplicity and connection, come along. You'll find the life you want in Jesus. He said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28) Rest in an increasingly rest-less society -- that's what the Simple Way of Jesus is about!

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