Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jesus Goes To A Concert

Jesus was invited by one of his disciples to go to a Christian concert one day. As Jesus came in, he saw that many were trying to get the attention of their friends on or behind the stage to let them in.

Jesus turned to those with him and said, “When you go to a concert, don’t try to get up on stage, or else a security person might come and throw you out because you are being disruptive. Instead, stand back, waiting, until your friend behind the stage sees you and says, ‘Hey, you want to come back here?’ and you will be escorted into the stage area. Even so, where God rules, everyone who exalts themselves will be lowered, and everyone who lowers themselves will be exalted.”

Then Jesus said to the one who invited him, “If you go to a concert or have a party, don’t invite your friends or relatives or coworkers. Because they will just invite you to the next event, and so pay you back. Instead, invite the homeless and the handicapped, and people with social and mental disorders. Because they will never be able to pay you back and instead you will gain your repayment from God on the last day.”

One of the people in Jesus’ group heard this and said, “I can’t wait to enjoy the party when God rules!”

Jesus replied, “God’s rule is like a man who was giving a huge, expensive party—a Martha Stewart affair. And there were many who were invited to dress up and come. So he began to call them up and remind them to come. One of those invited said, ‘Oh, I can’t make it, I’ve got to work late.’ Another said, ‘My wife wants me to stay home tonight.’ Another said, ‘I’ve got a business meeting to attend to. Sorry, I can’t come.’ The man became very angry and called a friend of his, ‘These worthless people won’t come. So come with me and let’s bring in the homeless, the handicapped and the mentally and socially disabled.’ After they brought in all of these they could find, there was still room left. So the man told his friend, ‘Okay, let’s go outside of town and invite anyone on the street who happens to be passing by until all the spaces are filled. But not one of those who were invited will even taste of my dinner.’ ”

Because Jesus was a celebrity, he was invited to say a few words on stage to the crowd. “Look, I know that many of you have thought about following me. I just wanted to let you know, if any of you want to follow me, you will have to love me more than you love your spouse or children, more than you love your mother or father, more than you love your brothers or sisters or friends. In fact, if you don’t love me more than you love your own life, you cannot follow me. Anyone who follows me will be punished by those who don’t love me like that, and some of you will be killed—you need to recognize that.

“Look,” Jesus said, “if you are going to paint your house, you want to know how much it will cost ahead of time, don’t you? Because otherwise, you get halfway done and run out of money to buy more paint and anyone passing by laughs at you and says, ‘Look, this guy started something but he couldn’t finish it.’ And the neighborhood association will be at your door and ask you to finish it or to move away.

“Let’s say there’s a general who is calculating the chances he has in a war. If he has ten thousand troops as opposed to the other general who has twenty thousand troops, he had better figure out if he will do war against his enemy or surrender and offer reprisals in order to make peace.

“Even so, recognize, if anyone wants to follow me, he needs to give up his possessions.”

Then Jesus got down and left.

This stuff is in the Bible—really! Read it for yourself— Luke 14:7-33.

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