We have a considerable body of knowledge concerning the words of Jesus. The four gospels show his reactions to many situations, and give some insight into His Personality.
How, then, do we justify making judgements about His potential behaviour in situations that may require our participation?
We know that He was compassionate with sinners, but admonished them to cease and desist the sinful behaviour. When He rescued the adulterous woman, He specifically said that He did not condemn her – and he was the only person who ever walked the earth who could claim the right to condemn.
And yet – many Christians today are reluctant to fully accept converts from a life of sin, considering them second class brothers and sisters in the faith. Red-headed stepchildren, if you will.
We condemn, and invoke Jesus.
We also know that He held a low view of wealth – saying that it was easier to pass a camel through the Eye of the Needle (the gate in ancient Jerusalem’s walls, not the sewing tool) than for a rich man to enter Heaven.
He said it in the context of speaking with a certain wealthy young man who wanted to follow Him, and was downcast when told that He had to give all he had to the poor.
But Jesus’ statement is quite clear. He did not speak of this rich man. He said a rich man. He was generic, in stating that wealth was and is an impediment to salvation.
Why do we have a prosperity Gospel, that says wealth can be a Christian’s aim?
Why do we judge Jesus, and in finding Him wanting, remold Him in a shape more pleasing to our human conceit?