There’s a group of liberal theologians who meet together on a regular basis to discuss their ideas about Jesus. They call themselves “The Jesus Seminar,” and their mission is to seek the real, historical Jesus behind the Gospels. They believe that the Gospels have been tarnished with stories and myths, additions and subtractions that the Church produced and tailored over 400 years. By reducing the text to what they believe is its original context, they hope to re-discover who Jesus actually was and present Him to the world.
The trouble is this: when they come across something like the bodily resurrection of Christ which they don’t believe, they pick and pull at the Gospel narratives until nothing is left. Or if Jesus is being critical and judgmental, they say that this was 2nd or 3rd century Church teaching and didn’t originate from Christ’s mouth. And whenever they come across something that is enigmatic or troubling, they try to reduce the Gospel to something palatable and acceptable to them. In other words, they’re revising the scriptures to suit themselves, in order to reflect their own cultural world view. Rather than accept the truth of the Gospel and the authority of Jesus, they declare that their own research and interpretations are authoritative and exact.
Bible Verse of the DayMark 11:33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
What the Jesus Seminarians are doing is nothing new. Jesus faced this all of the time. The Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Greeks, and Romans all questioned His authority. We even have examples of this in the Gospels. On Holy Tuesday, we focus upon the questioning that Jesus faced in the temple courts by the high priests and teachers of the law. They did not recognize His authority either. They wanted to reduce Him and His influence to that of being a backwoods carpenter from the boonies of Galilee, who got above His station and met His match with the theologians and priests in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Doesn’t it all sound too familiar?
The Jesus Seminarians are the Pharisees and Sadducees of our present generation. They seek to destroy the Gospel, the Church, and the Truth about Jesus. They want His authority over our lives to be diminished, and they desire that their own intellect and opinions be exalted above anything that is reported about Jesus in the Gospels.
As for me, I’m sticking with the Jesus that I personally know through the scriptures and especially the Gospels. His authority comes from God and He is the Only Savior that our world needs in every generation. The Jesus Seminarians may babble and squawk till kingdom come; they may stroke their own theological egos and esteem themselves in each other eyes, but when the King of Creation returns, it will be the Christ of the Gospels, and not the theological figment that they have imagined.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, for centuries Your Gospels have enlightened us about Who You were, Who You are, and Who You shall be. Come into our hearts and change our lives. Come into our minds and change our misconceptions. Enable us to rely upon the Gospel Truth and may we share it with the world. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.