luther’s diet of worms: behavior vs belief

Posted: March 1, 2013 in Between the lines, Fractured Bible stories, Truth and Grace
Tags: , , , , ,

love scriptureJesus is standing before his disciples and others in a conference room in the public library in Capernaum. They are wrapping up  DiscipleShipConference.

Jesus: So, now you know why I’m not putting anything in writing.

Peter: Got it. You want us to behave like you, not become a bunch of Pharisees arguing about what’s right and wrong.

Jesus: Absolutely. It’s important that you behave. Love God and love one another. That’s it. Total deal. The whole tamale. I’m more concerned about what you do than what you believe.

John: We know and believe in your love, Jesus.

Jesus: If you love me, love one another — even your enemies.

James (Jesus’ brother): Isn’t it important to have faith?

Jesus: Of course, but where is faith without love?

James: So, faith without actions is pointless.

Jesus: Correct. Faith without actions is dead.

Judas (winking): I believe you are our redeemer. I’ve 30 denarius that says Jerusalem will be free of Romans in our lifetime!

Disciples (standing): Here! Here! To Jesus, the Messiah!

Jesus (holding up his hands, shaking his head): Sit back down — my kingdom is not of this world. Here it is: I want you to LOVE Romans, not fight them. The kingdom is in your behavior.

John (thoughtfully): You’re not going to liberate Jerusalem, huh?

Jesus: Yes and no. My love will deliver all who come to me and follow my example — like you guys. The Pharisees and lawyers are looking for a King of the Jews to sit on David’s throne and rule according to the Law of Moses. That’s not happening.

John: But isn’t it important that we believe?

Jesus: There’s a problem with believing as a measure of righteousness. That’s why I’m not writing stuff down — it would become a checklist deliniating ‘us’ and ‘them’ instantly. Listen: THERE IS NO THEM.

Peter: Because love covers a multitude of sins. Our love operates in spite of sin.

Jesus: Upon this rock I’ll build my church! You are blessed to be living now. In 1500 years a guy named Luther will reform “Christians” by using scripture and writings instead of my love to resolve a church dispute. The Diet of Worms — a church council — will kick him out of the church. In fact, it’ll be in your church, Peter. He’ll start another one in protest.  That’ll bring on the Reformation and Protestants. ‘Believers’ of the Word will eclipse doers of the Word. Many in the church, on both sides, will forget love comes first.

Andrew: So, some of these “Christians” are going to become Pharisees?

Jesus: That about sums it up. I’m teaching, ‘Behave according to my love.’ Reformers will teach, ‘Believe according to Scripture.’ It’s unbelievably subtle. My behaviors will be in the Scripture, but the emphasis will get warped. Beware! Keep the tension right — the Scripture comes from inspired men piecing together revealed grace and truth, but I AM the fullness of grace and truth.

John: …the fullness of grace and truth…love is the key, right?

Jesus: Yes, love is the key. If you love God and others as I do, your beliefs will grow up just fine.

Tr8: Love God and others unconditionally. Scripture shows us how to behave.

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