We are continuing the Q&A between myself and prolific theologian, author, professor and blogger, Scot McKnight, about his new book, One.Life. You can check out a number of his award winning books and blog here.
Andrew’s Question: Shane Claiborne once asked, What if Jesus meant everything he said? You bring more depth to that question in your Committed.Life chapter by commenting that the mark of a follower of Jesus is following. You quote musician Rob Thomas who famously sang: Give me your heart, make it real or else forget about it; as a summary of Jesus’ expectations for his followers. There are many well intentioned self-proclaiming followers of Jesus who say they have surrendered their heart to the way of Jesus. But some suggest their actions speak differently. How can we expose ourselves to know our actions and our heart are indeed in the right place, committed to Jesus?
Scot’s Response: Gotta say this. It doesn’t mean having Shane’s hairdo! (It’s OK, Shane, I love you. Call it hair envy.)
Two points, Andrew. First, Jesus’ radical claims on his followers are not games. They mean business, but we are wrong to interpret them legalistically – as if he gave up one form of legalism to shape a new kind. No, those radical claims are designed to get us to see that Jesus wants “us” – the inner you and the inner me – from the inside out. Totally. All of us. Every one of us. Each day. All day long. So, his words are powerful rhetoric of summoning us to give ourselves unreservedly to Jesus.
Second, we have to get to know the Gospels better. (Not just the Gospels, brother, but the whole Bible for only in reading the whole Bible do we see what the Gospels are getting at.) We need to read them, to listen to them, to gnaw on them and let them gnaw on us. We need to listen and learn and to hear and to heed.
I can’t say more.
Followers of Jesus follow Jesus, and to follow Jesus, we have to know Jesus and to know Jesus we have to learn about him by reading and listening to the Gospels.