Just as Jesus cannot walk around Israel in the first-century with an exterior halo of His divinity…in His princely garb of fine clothing, a royal carriage, and a retinue of soldiers…so to speak…and then be able to meet us where we are and to hone-in on His end-point destiny to be the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin…Jesus likewise and in addition cannot also engage the current political, social, and cultural issues that do not directly relate to the narrow-gate mandate of His unique calling.
As contrary to conventional normalcy and thinking as this may seem at first glance…Jesus Christ cannot ingratiate Himself to the ruling elite in Israel by inserting Himself into the contemporary political and social dialogue…in which He would have been brilliantly helpful and insightful (Lk. 2:46-47)…and thereby compromise the gap between self-sovereignty and God-sovereignty…which is the defining issue that leads to a cross in Jerusalem (Jn. 15:22-25).
In Luke 12:13-14 a man from the audience asks Jesus to intervene in a family dispute over the division of an inheritance…and Jesus declines saying: “Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?”
After Jesus multiplies the loaves of bread and fish to feed thousands…and the people who saw this miracle remark: “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (Jn. 6:14)…the next verse reads: “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone” (Jn. 6:15).
In the classic verbal confrontation between the Herodians and Jesus regarding the paying of tribute to the Romans…Jesus deftly raises the issue of the dual allegiances of our duty to secular authorities and to God…to a higher level above and outside of the worldly conventional zone where the Pharisees through the Herodians wanted to “entangle” Jesus in His words (Mt. 22:15-22).
The opponents of Jesus again try to trap Him in His words…by re-litigating the laws of Moses by asking Jesus what are the most important of these (Mt. 22:34-40).
But the mission of Jesus does not include what was already established for the nation of Israel…as Jesus clearly states by saying in the Sermon on the Mount: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Mt. 5:17).
What has enormous apologetic value as an argument for the divine origin of the Bible…is this narrow discipline and restraint shown by Jesus the Son of God in staying within the calling and mission to be the lowly Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for mankind’s sins…which even seems to preclude not getting involved too closely with the contemporary political and cultural issues of that time period.
At this point I would refer the reader to the Introduction and Chapter Five of one of my favorite books God: The Evidence by Patrick Glynn…in which he makes the case that the teaching of Jesus turned the philosophy of the ancient world upside-down on its head.
Atheists and agnostics might reasonably argue at this point that if Jesus was the all-knowing Son of God…why did He not introduce the technological and scientific advancements then…that would jump-start the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions that eventually produced steam engines, automobiles, airplanes, solar and wind energy, I-phones, and e-mail?
Yet we have all of these gadgets now…and is life the paradise these imagined and dreamed-of Doctrine of Progress mechanical devices potentially promised? Have they changed the heart of man? We appear to have just as many and arguably just as difficult of problems to solve today as ever.
The earthly life-script boundaries for Jesus Christ end at the cross, the resurrection, and His ascension…because this is precisely its brilliant scope and mission.
This should tell Christians today that the God-composed journey of faith life-scripts that God is still producing today for the people who will pick up their cross and follow Jesus…are each perfectly designed to match our created abilities and gifts…and destined through the foresight and creative imagination of God to produce outcomes that are outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…that will both challenge and satisfy our deepest longing for purpose and meaning in our lives.