Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings
Let's have a look in Luke, Chapter 10. You know the story, and a lawyer had spoken to Jesus. He said to Him: well
teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life? He asked him: what's in the law, what do you read? He said: you shall
- now look at this - love the Lord your God with just your mind? No, he says: love the Lord your God with all your
heart, all your soul, all your strength, all your mind, everything; and your neighbour as yourself! He said: you've done
right, do this and live.
Now notice what Jesus identified was the primary thing above all things. Number one, this one, if you're doing this,
you're doing okay. He says: love the Lord fervently, every part of you. Your mind has got to learn how to love the
Lord. Your emotions, love the Lord with your emotions; love the Lord with your body; love the Lord with your spirit;
every part of us. We tend to re-read it. We read it like this: love the Lord with your spirit on Sunday. But that's not
what it says. It tells us that the commandment is, the one commandment that sums the whole Bible up is: passionate
love, wholehearted love, your heart, that's your emotions, your mind, your thoughts, your feelings, your body, your
strength - passionately loving God. You can understand then, if there's no passionate expression in a service where
God's people are gathered, there is something wrong! It's not fulfilling wha t Jesus said is the number one thing to do -
to love Him.
We love Him because He first loved us, so we need to begin to experience His love, and as we experience His love,
we allow His love to bring healing, restoration, change in life; and we express some thing. We must express
something, and it's not just - notice Jesus didn't say it was all about God word. He said: it's also about touching
people. Listen, loving people is the number one indicator of how you're doing with God. Now how mature you are,
how really you've caught the heart of God, it must come into our interactions with people. Spirituality, without
engaging people, does become totally disconnected, and irrelevant, and part of the problem. God calls us to engage
Him, to have encounters and experiences with Him, and then to overflow with what we have to people, who
desperately have need. Jesus made it very, very clear: God loves us passionately!
Now God is not some person up there who's heavy, and serious and grim, who's got a big stick, and He's looking at
you. He's not like that. The Bible says: He rejoices over you with joy and rejoicing! God is passionate. We are made
in His image and likeness. Jesus was a passionate person. You say: oh that's not me - well you're messed up.
There's something wrong. You're missing out on life. You're missing out on something, because Jesus, we're
designed by God to reflect what He's like. If you look at the life of Jesus, He was an amazing person. He represents
fully what God is like, and He was very passionate. He rejoiced. That means He laughed, and celebrated, and
rejoiced. He wept openly over the grief of His friends. He prayed, He prayed with strong crying, that's passionate, and
with tears - that's emotion.
When He was facing oppression, and a struggle, and the greatest challenge of His life; going into the garden,
knowing tomorrow He's going to die, He wanted friends to be with Him - and He was sad that they wouldn't stick with
Him. Before He came into this experience, He wanted them to come with Him; He wa nted friendship. We just don't
see sometimes, how full of expression Jesus was. Kids loved Him. Kids like smiley faces. Anyone who knows kids -
they like smiley faces. You've got a serious face, they don't respond. They just see - the body is saying it all - heavy
face, keep away. Adults are pretty much the same aren't we? See, so God is full of expression. Look at the
expression and everywhere you look, there's expression, so God wants us to have expression, learn to be able to do
Now as we read the story here, you're going to see where Jesus is now illustrating, what He's talking about. Now of
course when we read this parable of the Good Samaritan, you're going to put yourself somewhere in that story you
know. Even as I read it out, you're going to m entally put yourself somewhere. Now maybe you're the guy on the road
beaten up and dying; I'm bleeding to death, someone help me or even notice me. Maybe you're thinking: oh, I'm a bit
like the Good Samaritan you know? Every now and then I help people out, you know? But almost no one will say that
they're the priest, or the Pharisee, or the Levite. We don't want to be that, yet more often than not we are. That's why
He told the story; it's to talk about what loving God passionately, and loving your neighbou r as yourself really looks
like, okay? It's more than just being in a service, and being excited on Sunday.
He said a certain man - Verse 30 - went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of
his clothing, wounded him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down the road,
and when he saw him, well he passed by on the other side. He's got to get to a prayer meeting you know. Likewise a
Levite, when he arrived at the same place, he came and he l ooked - so they both looked, they both saw him, you see.
And he passed by on the other side. He crossed over the other road, so he wouldn't have to go there; listen, I'm busy
mate, I've got a meeting, I've got a Bible study to do, I've got my home group to get to. You just don't understand how
busy I am, I've got to get to things! I'm sorry, you know? But a certain Samaritan - now Jesus is using the Samaritan.
It illustrates, of course, Him. Samaritans were despised. The priest and the Levite were spiritual people supposedly.