Jesus wasn’t stingy with His platform

I’m going to be a little raw. I’ve been wrestling with God about this whole “Jesus Is My Candidate” campaign/idea/thing that hasn’t seemed to go anywhere at least in the grandiose large-scale sense that I hoped it might. I got called out yesterday for promoting myself after I sent out a mass facebook message about the campaign and this new Election Day Communion idea to an eclectic group of pastors , some of whom I have enough rapport with to humor me and bear my silliness with patience, but some of whom I apparently don’t. I’ve been reflecting on whether and to what degree this campaign is reducible to my narcissism. I’m grateful for getting called out as I told the person who did it; otherwise I would never learn. But to some degree, I don’t think you can be a preacher without being a self-aware narcissist. Otherwise how could you stand up in front of a group of people every week to speak on behalf of God with any authority? It is a constant brutal struggle with pride. I don’t know how to be a good steward of what God gives me to share with the world other than to kick and scream and bang on every door I can find. Please unfriend/unfollow me if you have a problem with that. So far I’ve had one famous Christian writer get on twitter to make fun of what I was trying to promote and another one say that she would block me if I tweeted directly to her about things like this since I was exploiting her platform. In any case, as I was feeling resentful, flustered, and confused this morning, I remembered a story in which Jesus showed that He wasn’t stingy with His platform.

Jesus was an important celebrity preacher and important people wanted His attention. If He were around today, His personal email address would not be available to the public or if it was, then the office interns would be the ones reading and responding to all the healing requests and theological questions and invitations to preach. Jesus dined with the big dogs, whether in the civil world (Matthew and Zacchaeus, the uber-wealthy tax collectors) or in the religious world (Nicodemus and Simon the Pharisees). In Mark 5, Jesus went to visit a town where a synagogue leader named Jairus immediately ran up to Him begging for Him to come to heal his daughter. So Jesus was getting ready to go, but then something happened.

A woman who had suffered from internal bleeding for decades and had gone through all her money trying to get healed was tired of waiting in line and being ignored. So she reached out and snatched Jesus’ robe, and sure enough it healed her. Now Jesus could have just let it go and kept walking, but He wanted this sign of God’s power to be publicly acknowledged. So He called out to the crowd saying, “Who touched me?” The woman came forward, trembling with fear, and He said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” In seminary, we talked about this passage and the way that Jesus wasn’t content to heal this woman only physically; she needed to be healed socially as well. He called her out so that all the people who had completely ignored her up until that moment would see her and respect her dignity. He was willing to use His platform to elevate her dignity even though it meant that Jairus’ daughter died while He was delayed and He had to bring her back to life.

I’m aware that it’s a big stretch to compare a story about how Jesus healed a poor woman with a devastating health condition with my attempts to promote a campaign that hopefully is about glorifying Jesus and not myself. But I sure would love it if someone with a big platform and sphere of influence were willing to let me snatch onto their cloak. Based on what this passage says about Jesus, I know that if He had a blog today and He got a facebook message from some random scrub associate pastor who hadn’t paid his dues and had no right to deserve an audience, then Jesus wouldn’t be stingy with His platform.

9 thoughts on “Jesus wasn’t stingy with His platform

  1. Isn’t it an old Buddhist saying that the path to satisfying “I want happiness” begins with removing “I” or some such stoic platitude?

    Perhaps.

    A friend of mine checks the value of a written piece by counting the number of times words and phrases like “I” “me” “As a…” and such are used.

    • Sometimes when you write, you just have to be human and let all your disgusting narcissism hang out even if it leaves you vulnerable to criticism. How many I’s did you count? There were probably 30 or 40 I imagine.

  2. I’m not a big dog, so I don’t know what it’s like to be on the other side. But I know that even with my little blog I have a hard time doing things I really wish people would do for me like checking out a commenter’s blog. But it is frustrating. And more than a bit humiliating when you’ve put yourself out there and not gotten anywhere with it. I’ve done it more than once. But I’m also an old theater nerd and one of the first things you learn in theater is that the audience doesn’t have the script. We put to much pressure on ourselves, thinking we’ll look foolish because things aren’t working the way that we want them to. But we’re the only ones who see just how badly we’ve flubbed our lines.

    Sometimes I think God has us doing these things that so no where for the lessons involved – be humble, don’t quit, don’t let yourself feel judged by people who have no right to judge you, do it even when it doesn’t make sense and isn’t getting you any where. I keep thinking lately that we’ve bought into this idea that big numbers are the goal – not so we can say that we’re popular. But so that we can know that we’re effective and not just shouting at the wind. But Jesus left behind just a couple dozen devoted followers. Maybe it’s not the numbers that count. Maybe it’s that one or two people who needed to hear just what we had to say.

    • I hear that. I definitely think His goal is different than my goal and over time He bangs me over the head with a 2 by 4 enough that I start to seek after His goal. But it’s weird because He uses even my pride to accomplish His purposes; it just has to be purified.

  3. One thing I have realized along the way is that people will try to hitch a free ride or hijack a platform for their own purposes. People tried that with Jesus even, as in the case of Judas, a Zealot, to name just one. When I owned a shop, I had to fight for counter space with everyone who wanted to display their business card. People wanted me to pronote their causes, some of which just didn’t feel right to me and I would have felt compromised doing so… that it would reflect on me in a negative way.

    However, I think it is good to treat each other with respect, as equals, not considering oneself to be above another. For instance, when I shared a link to my glossolalia articles on your Facebook page because I thought it might interest you, you did not react as if I were using you as a free publicity vehicle. I appreciate that.

    I have not Tweeted for you because I don’t quite get Twitter. I tweet an article when there is a Twitter link on it, but haven’t really mastered the wats of Twitter. There are so many forums online it is overwhelming to me. I do share your articles on FB and on a personal basis. I will likely refer to your writings in future articles I write for Examiner.com.

    The Lord has given you a big message and you feel an urgency. I truly understand the inner pressure of that “fire in your bones.” Some things take time, and not every message is to be delivered in full immediately. Sone things are ours to pray about or support when we see it emerging. Not everything is mine to act on personally. I still stumble over discetning these things after 15 years or more of dealing wirh such issues.

    Sadly, not everything God gives us to share will bear fruit. That is up to the hearers. Sometimes we speak so they cannot say they were not told when they stand before God. Other times, it is so, when the fulfillment occurs, everyone will know God spoke it in advance. Hopefully the prophetic voice will be more heeded next time it is heard.

    I am praying for you and have shared about you with others… some for prayer… and some to show that God is working. He is up to something. It is for the edification of true believers and the fulfilling of God’s purposes. It’s not about us. We should consider ourselves blessed if we are not thrown in a pit or put in a log and sawn in two. : D

    • Awesome! Thanks for the encouragement. The difficult thing about the blogging world is its not a meritocracy. You don’t win an essay contest and then get the right to be a syndicated columnist. You have to elbow and leverage your way up which is demeaning and humiliating. I have decided Im not going to pander with my topics anymore. Im almost to the point of not prostituting myself to the big dogs and simply posting these with maybe a couple follow up tweets. What’s frustrating is when I genuinely feel like God is saying you’re not allowed to be quiet and others see it as pure ego.

  4. I have encountered the same thing and have often felt frustrated too. When I first started our Love Without Agenda work I emailed 50 national pastors and offered to come meet them anywhere in the USA if they would just give me 1 hour of time. Only 1 person bothered to even respond. So your not crazy…a lack of collaboration is a serious issue of amongst ‘Christian’ leaders.

    While I don’t tweet about politics in general and wouldn’t share the “Jesus Is My Candidate” meme…I would share other things you have written on the RLC blog—so feel free to push those to me on Twitter and I’ll share some. Although I dont exactly qualify as either “well known” or influential🙂

    Keep going, be encouraged, and always remember that your voice is important to the conversation.

    • Word thanks for your encouragement brother. It’s all about love without an agenda. Please harangue and exploit me whenever with that agenda!

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