This is the continuation of the series on LEADERSHIP. The first week we covered background and the definitions of LEADER and BOSS. Last week we covered the Old Testament examples of LEADERS. This week we will begin looking at the ultimate LEADER: Jesus.
However, before we begin looking at what the Bible says about Jesus, I need to warn you...the Bible does NOT present Jesus in the same way that most people think. The Bible gives a view of Jesus that is different that the "traditional" view of Jesus that results in contradictions. I've found this out the hard way over the last fourteen years...
For the last fourteen years, I have read the Bible cover-to-cover every year and tried to learn as much as possible from others. However, I have noticed the overwhelming majority of people DON'T have a non-contradictory interpretation of the Bible.
Christians have contradictory beliefs EVERYWHERE they have substituted TRADITION in place of the Word of God.
For the last fourteen years, I have actively looked for contradictions in my belief system and the belief system of others. Whenever a contradiction was identified, I would look for and/or ask for Bible verses supporting the contradiction. I found that the contradiction was removed EVERY TIME by one of three ways:
1. The verses weren't in the Bible. People projected circumstances and/or events that are not recorded in the Bible.
2. The verses were misquoted. The ACTUAL verse said something different than what was believed.
3. The verse meant something else. This is the tricky case...
The overwhelming majority of the contradictions were removed with the first two ways. It is amazing how many times the issue went away when the verse couldn't be found...either because it didn't exist or it was misquoted. The first way (verse doesn't exist) deals with perspective (projection). The second way (verse misquoted) deals with interpretation...are the words accurately represented?
The third way deals with understanding. When a verse is quoted correctly, we are dealing with meaning. THIS is the case where I say: We all agree with what the Bible says, yet we disagree...we disagree on what the Bible MEANS. This ability to interpret text is known as "hermeneutics".
Hang on...don't let a big word put you to sleep. Notice that the first two aspects of "hermeneutics" are simple: 1) make sure the verse exists and 2) make sure it is quoted accurately. All of the complicated stuff occurs with the third way: understanding/meaning.
It is at this point where people can attempt to make the Bible MEAN whatever they want it to MEAN. Shouldn't there be a way to make sure we get God's TRUTH and not man's interpretation? There is! It involves using four God-given principles TOGETHER. These four principles are: contrastive thinking, non-contradiction, causality, and growth.
If these four principles are used TOGETHER, you will ALWAYS end up with non-contradictory TRUTH. If even one of these principles is ignored, you may end up with man's contradictory interpretation.
I believe these four principles are the key to helping us understand God (and the Bible) better.
This is the reason I published "Modeling God" last year.
For the rest of this series, not only are we going to see the non-contradictory interpretation of Jesus' words are different than man-made tradition that results in contradictions...we will see that Jesus used these four principles when He explained Himself. Jesus wanted us to use these four principles to make sure we kept our beliefs based on the Word of God and NOT man-made tradition.