He said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ but do not do what I say?” Maybe he meant it.
This short book (40 pages) is available as a free pdf, or as a paperback at LULU.com (see the links below). It treats the following issues. Here, each chapter title is followed by a representative quote from the chapter.
Ch 1. Jesus’ Love for God and Religion
“Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity” … “You do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with truth.”
Ch 2. Jesus Inverted Common Moral Ideas
He had very clear moral standards which were derived from “the Law and the Prophets,” … Problems arose because the cultural patterns and the powerful people were not accustomed to those standards and were unwilling to move toward them.
Ch 3. Jesus and Religion Had a Difficult Relationship
Jesus brought together things that seemed to be polar opposites – profound religious insight and moral power on the one hand, with explicit rejection of much of the established practice of religion on the other.
Ch 4. Jesus Loved Ordinary People
It is interesting to observe that his harsher sayings were directed at religious authorities, sometimes at the wealthy, occasionally at the politically powerful, but almost never at the bulk of the population.
Ch 5. To Jesus, Economics and Exploitation Were Moral Issues
He never honored the rich for their success. He never encouraged the wealthy to lighten their social obligations, nor did he give them much credit for their donations to the Temple. He singled out for honor a poor widow (quite possibly a single mother) who gave almost nothing.
Ch 6. For Jesus, The Invisible is Always More Important
If there is evil (or good) lurking within, it is sobering to consider this: Jesus has the effect of making the invisible obvious. Because of him, “the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”
Ch 7. Did Jesus Have an Ego Problem?
He thought extremely highly of himself – in terms of the value of his teaching, and in terms of his importance to the future welfare of individuals and even of the whole of world history.
Ch 8. How Can We “Believe In” This Jesus?
It matters a great deal what Jesus wants … what he loves and values –
that’s a big part of who he is.
If we don’t accept those things, then we don’t accept him.
And if we don’t accept him – don’t even really like him –
how dare we say we believe in him?