As a child you likely played the game Simon says. It’s simple when you are told Simon says…you do exactly what Simon says or you lose. It’s a fairly basic game. Throughout the New Testament there a number of times that we read “Jesus says,” and again the concept is meant to be simple, do what He said. But Francis Chan suggests that Christians have taken a simple game Jesus says, and made it more like red light, green light, adding a middle or third option. Red light: Stop, you choose to not do what Jesus says. Green light: All in, you do exactly what Jesus says. Then we add yellow light: I talk about, study, and discuss, but don’t do what Jesus says. Sadly, Fran suggests this is the most common option chosen by Christians of all kinds.
He gives this example. Imagine if you told your daughter to clean her room. Four hours later you see her and ask, “Did you clean your room?” Her response, “I memorized what you said, translated it into Greek, and even had a small group of my friends come over and we discussed what it would look like to clean my room.” So did she clean her room? Obviously not, but this is a widely accepted practice as Christians, those whose names means the ones who follow Jesus Christ.
I’ll be the first to admit that often what Jesus says is challenging to understand, and just as challenging to live out. Yet either of those changes the reality of the call to do what Jesus says. Jesus says it this way, “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:26, 27 NIV) Jesus describes only 2 options, do you do what Jesus says, or not. Jesus has no interest in a third option, his concern, did you do it, or not? And the implications of that choice is no small thing.
1. Think of something that Jesus says that you like or challenges you, or that you would like to hear more about. Your suggested “Jesus says” might even be one of the next blog posts!!
2. What makes doing what Jesus says so challenging? Why do you find yourself talking about it, but struggling to do it?