Journey: Deciding Where to Live

Read: “Jesus and the Multitude”

This chapter comes with an edge, but it is an edge that can save our souls.  By revealing Jesus’ connection with the multitudes, McLaren challenges the fallen world’s fascination with the rich and famous, and our egoic desire to run with the big dogs.

After all, the false self tells us, we are who we associate with–thus we always have a derivative identity, rather than an intrinsic one.  After all, the false self tells us, the movers and shakers can get things done and keep things going.  The false self loves to hang out with “the winners,” because it makes us feel like winners too.

But McLaren rightly notes that Jesus turned the social pyramid upside down and challenged every artificial means we use to convince ourselves we are important.  Jesus made his home in the heart of the Father–“I and the Father are one”–so, he was free to move across human-made barriers to relate to all whom God made, treating them as beloved, sacred, and precious children.

When we decide to live in the heart of God, we are liberated from the need to gain favor and receive blessing from the “right people,” and we are free to bless and to love all people–and to receive blessing and love from everyone.  When we live with God, we can live with all whom God has made!

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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