∼The Middle of the Garden∼

My experiences from walking and talking with Jesus in the middle of life's garden…a blog by Janet Williams

Revelation 14:6 “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, with an eternal Gospel (good news) to tell to the inhabitants of the earth, to every race and tribe and language and people.” AMP

As a Christian, I like to ponder what I think Jesus might say if He was asked about the “Black Lives Matter” movement. I think that He would agree that black lives matter. I think that He would whole-heartedly agree that the treatment of the black people by the police has been unjust. But, do I think that Jesus would protest? Probably not and here’s why.

Even though Jesus came to “set the captives free”, I noticed that in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry He never once set a slave free from his (or her) master. Why do I think that is important? Because, Jesus came to set us all free from slavery. In His eyes we are all slaves. In Jesus’ eyes we are all victims of injustice. We are slaves to sin and we’ve all suffered injustice and unfair judgment by the world because of our sin.. We are all bound up in doing things our own way and that way always leads to a kind of spiritual death.

There were actually many Jewish Rabbi’s in Jesus’ day. They each would call followers out of the Jewish men around them and they would teach them just as Jesus did. They each had a main point or an emphasis in their teaching. Jesus did too. Jesus taught His disciples that they were to preach, teach and share His gospel and not the gospel of another. They were to learn of Him and follow in His footsteps. This was very hard for them. They thought that when Jesus called them to follow Him that they were going to become a military group with Jesus as their (sort of) General and that Jesus was going to lead them into battle against the Romans. Jesus had no such plans. In fact, even up to the moment that the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane Peter assumed a military role. He drew the sword of a Roman soldier and cut off his ear. Peter was ready for a fight. Peter was ready to protest against Jesus’ arrest. But, Jesus didn’t want the fight. He wasn’t going to try and use social pressure to try and combat the social and personal diseases of this world. His arrest was unjust. Basically, Jesus was tried and convicted on the street in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus didn’t want to do it Peter’s way. Jesus wanted Peter to do it His way.

The gospel that Jesus came to preach wasn’t that “Slaves Lives Matter” or even that “All Lives Matter”. If I could pin it down into a phrase or brief phrase,  I believe Jesus came to preach “Eternal Life Matters Most”.

I think that Jesus came and saw how much injustice was everywhere. It wasn’t just with one community or race. Injustice, poverty, poor education, unfair advantages, nepotism, enslavement to religious practices, turning to other gods who weren’t gods at all, etc., all had the effect of enslaving everyone. No one was immune to enslavement. No one was immune to injustice either. Those who didn’t suffer as much injustice were enslaved to a system that caused them to be unjust to others. And those who had a great deal of injustice heaped onto them became enslaved to the rage and anger which burned inside of them. Jesus stated, “Whomever the Son sets free shall be free indeed!”. Jesus came with a clear-cut mission and it was to set all people free. At first, He came to the Jewish people but when they didn’t receive Him He opened up His gospel and promises of eternal life and freedom from sin to everyone. But, His message always remained the same and His message applied to everyone. We all needed to treat each other better. Justice should be available to all equally. And everyone’s heavenly Father wants them to know that He sees what’s going on and He cares.

I also think that while Jesus wouldn’t protest under the banner of “Black Lives Matter”, I think that He is thrilled that people are uniting in an effort to try and stop injustice from occurring. I think that He knows that once people are seeking justice of any kind that they will eventually begin to seek Him. I think that Jesus sees the “Black Lives Matter” movement as one that opens up a dialogue with God.

I once had a dream. I met Jesus as He was strolling down a beach. I looked into His right eye and I saw heaven. It was beautiful. As I saw heaven I felt this most incredible, amazing love. That love was so powerful and overwhelming that it was hard to keep staring but I didn’t want to stop staring into Jesus’ right eye. As I did, however, I realized that as I was staring into Jesus’ eye, Jesus was staring into my right eye. He was seeing what was inside of me and I could see what He saw. I saw myself as nothing more than a mere puff of smoke that hovered about in the air. Jesus could see right through me. I could hide nothing from Him. I immediately turned away from staring into His right eye because of the pain of knowing what He was seeing in me.

My point in telling you this dream is that when we open ourselves up to vocalizing our feelings of injustice then some will open themselves up to looking in the mirror and asking themselves if they have ever hoisted an injustice onto another. For how can anyone really change injustice if they are also the cause of injustice?

Jesus once said that it is possible to gain the whole world and yet lose your own soul. In this case, I think that this means that you can gain all the justice and change in the world you want but still be filled with all rage at the injustice and fearful that it is at your doorstep then you’ve lost your own soul. In changing the world we have allowed ourselves to be changed. In trying to scrape away at the injustice of the world we have become unjust. In trying to make the world a better place we’ve allowed our cause to erode our soul to the point that it is willing to sacrifice itself on the altar of our cause.

So, which gospel am I to choose to preach? Am I going to preach that “Black Lives Matter” when I get a chance? Or am I going to preach that “Eternal Life Matters” when I get a chance? If I am going to lose my soul to one of these two which will actually give me my soul back, intact and whole?



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