Monday, December 26, 2005

the Jesus Creed

Scot McKnight in his book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others, helps us see that for Jesus what today we call "spiritual formation" consisted in a change Jesus made to the Jewish Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). He added Leviticus 19:18 to make a new creed for his followers:
"29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31; TNIV)

If we are to understand the community of Jesus, we must understand it as those whose lives are directed by love to God with their all, and love to others, as they love themselves. This is what marks the community of Jesus, i.e., those who follow Jesus.

Of course it's a following that is by faith. But it is given focus that is distinctive. And that gives room for a far greater vision of the gospel than what is ordinarily understood among us. It's no less than the gospel of God's kingdom that Jesus proclaimed and brought in with his incarnation and mission. And it concerns God's end goal: making all things new through his Son- Jesus. We who have put our faith in Jesus are to be living for that goal. To follow Jesus is to be devoted in our lives to "the Jesus Creed". And in so doing we will be involved in what God is doing in the world today.

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