start the healing

Sometimes all a person needs in order to finally start the journey toward healing is to know that someone else has walked the same path.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 99.

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reject the easy jesus

When we reject the easy Jesus in search of the real Jesus, we take a step. When we convert our desire and intention into commitment, we take a step. Day in and day out, with each seemingly small decision to align our lives with the way of Jesus, we take a step. And before we know it, with a little bit of grit and the Wind at our backs, we find that we’ve covered some ground. We’ve moved forward in running after the rich and satisfying life that we desire.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 41-42


fighting grace

God’s grace is a fighting kind of grace. It pokes and prods and confronts and pushes us toward the path that leads to a rich and satisfying life. Grace will not let us settle for mediocrity and small living. It compels us to change.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 33


will we experience god’s forgiveness?

Ultimately, if we refuse to forgive others, we won’t experience God’s forgiveness – not because he will withhold it but because we think we don’t need it.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 52

 


compassion requires reaction

Compassion requires reaction.

That’s what the world needs – our presence as well as our prayers. People who are struggling and in need aren’t looking for pity. They’re looking for care and concern that act on their behalf – for people who will not only pray from a distance, but who will also be willing to draw so close to them that our shirts might get stained.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 66


loving, doing good, blessing, and praying

It’s worth taking a look in order to understand the powder keg that Jesus ignites here.

(Jason Mitchell is discussing the content of See Luke 6:27 and 28.)

“Love . . .”

We have all sorts of ideas about what it means to love, and most of them revolve around feelings. The word translated as love in this passage, however, is light-years away from sentimentality. For Jesus, love is an action-oriented, sacrificial, work-up-a-sweat commitment to do what’s right for another person. This kind of love proves itself in a willingness to give until it hurts.

“Do good . . . “

The word translated as good in this passage is tied to the Greek word kalos, which carries with it the idea of pursuing what is “right and beautiful.” So when Jesus talks about “doing good,” he is describing a kind of life in which we make right what is wrong. It’s a life centered on bringing beauty to what has been marred and broken.

“Bless . . .”

The ideas of blessing someone is pretty straightforward, It’s a translation of the Greek work eulogeo, which literally means “to speak good words” about someone.

“Pray for . . .”

In the New Testament, the word pray is tied to the idea of well-wishing. In the context of this passage, when Jesus tells us to pray he is talking about desiring the best for someone. We desire God’s favor for the people we pray for, wanting them to flourish.

My guess is that we all would agree that loving, doing good, blessing, and praying are all good ways to live. The tension comes from who Jesus says should be the recipients of these actions.

  • Love . . . your enemies.
  • Do good . . . to those who hate you.
  • Bless . . . those who curse you.
  • Pray for . . . those who hurt you.

So ask yourself, who is my enemy?

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 46-47


evil’s two victories

Theologian Miroslav Volf makes the point that evil needs two victories in order to be triumphant. “The first victory happens when an evil deed is perpetrated; the second victory, when evil is returned” as revenge.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 59


put skin on our compasion

Jesus didn’t step into this world only to feel for us, or think for us, or be a model for us. That can all be done from a distance. He came to touch the world as well. To get skin to skin with the creation he loves. He came to be with us in our need.

To follow the real Jesus means to become like him in this way, to put skin on our compassion for others by getting involved in their lives, by attacking in tangible ways the things that are wrong in the world, and by working with God to set things right.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.73.


follow to encounter

The truth is, we will never encounter the real Jesus until we go beyond merely believing in him and actually start following him. Yes, it’s much harder to follow that to merely believe. But following is the only route to the rich and satisfying life we desire.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus forward, page 24.


beliefs or delusions

The truth is beliefs that have no connection to reality, even if they’re sincere, aren’t beliefs at all; they’re delusions.

Kyle Idleman, No Easy Jesus forward, page x.