The Christian Box

Is is just me, or do you feel as though we, as Christians, are placed into a particularly small box, confined to a narrow set of behaviors considered “Christian”? Take the following scripture and Matthew Henry’s own comments on it as an example of how it all starts.

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:23-26

Matthew Henry commented: “The servant of the Lord must not strive, 2Ti_2:24. Nothing worse becomes the servant of the Lord Jesus, who himself did not strive nor cry (Mat_12:19), but was a pattern of meekness, and mildness, and gentleness to all, than strife and contention. The servant of the Lord must be gentle to all men, and thereby show that he is himself subject to the commanding power of that holy religion which he is employed in preaching and propagating. – Apt to teach. Those are unapt to teach who are apt to strive, and are fierce and froward. Ministers must be patient, bearing with evil, and in meekness instructing (2Ti_2:25) not only those who subject themselves, but those who oppose themselves.”

My dispute with Mr. Henry isn’t that we, as followers of Y’shuaJesus, are not encouraged to not stir up strife. And, certainly, it behooves us to be considerate in all our dealings with all people. No, my dispute is that this places us into a small, confining box. By this commentary upon the Words of G-d, we are confined to fulfilling only one roll, utilizing one tool, in our daily living.

Let’s take a look at our example of what a true believer is to be. Let’s look at Y’shuaJesus as he appears to his disciples.

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

John 2:13-17

In the English Standard Bible Version, verse 17 concludes with “Zeal for your house will consume me.” This public display certainly shocked the disciples who had been with Y’shuaJesus for some time. Those disciples saw his first miracle, at the wedding where He turned water into wine. These disciples had seen His gentle ways, His meekness. Now these disciples witnessed the first public display of our Lord Y’shuaJesus. What part of gentle, meek, and mild is that display? What do we learn from it? We learn that “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?
And [Y’shuaJesus] said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Matthew 22:36,37

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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