That's Unreasonable (Cornerstone)
Mar 22, 2015 - Rev Paul Rasmussen
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In addition to those listed above, can you think of other examples in the Bible when people acted unreasonably in response to God's call?
Is it difficult for you to think about living in ways that are unreasonable? Why? How do society and culture encourage us to live in ways that are reasonable?
When in your life have people extended unreasonable love, forgiveness, generosity, hospitality and/or grace to you? How did it make you feel?
What steps can you take to start extending (or to continue to extend) unreasonable love, forgiveness, generosity, hospitality, and grace to others?
How does knowing that Jesus is unreasonable change your perspective on God or deepen your understanding of God?
This week we continued our sermon series, Mark, looking at the Gospel of Mark to gain a deeper understanding of Jesus as we journey to Easter. Rev. Paul Rasmussen challenged us to be unreasonable as Jesus was unreasonable. We are taught that being unreasonable is a negative, sometimes offensive thing. But, from time to time, we are called to be totally unreasonable.
There are examples throughout the Bible of people acting unreasonably in response to God's call -- Noah built an ark, David slayed a giant, Rahab risked her life to hide Israelite spies in the promised land. Jesus is consistently unreasonable -- he forgave sins and extended unlimited grace, he dined with prostitutes and tax collectors, he challenged the status quo of his day. Everywhere Jesus went, he was criticized for being unreasonable.
Re-read Mark 10:17-22. In this passage, a rich, young ruler asks Jesus what he needs to do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. The young man assures Jesus that he has kept the commandments. Jesus then tells him he needs to sell all of his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Jesus. In response, this man goes away from Jesus and retreats back to his comfort zone. Jesus' request to the rich, young ruler is completely unreasonable. Jesus challenges him in the one area (his wealth) in which being reasonable has completely held him hostage from who God wants him to be.
Jesus came to reveal the heart of God. As Jesus was unreasonable, we are called to be unreasonable. When we are reasonable, we discount what God can do. Most of us only scratch the surface of what God has called us to accomplish because we underestimate the role of God in our life. In the gospels, we see that Jesus constantly pushes his people to consider the unreasonable. Jesus is calling each of us to do something that we never thought we could achieve. Jesus wants us to live lives that are unreasonable -- he wants us to grow wildly in ways that we never could imagine. Reasonable people produce reasonable results. Unreasonable people produce unreasonable results. They accomplish things never contemplated. They believe that there is something more out there.
Paul explained that if you want to change what you do, you must change the way you think. If you have an unreasonable vision, lean on God to figure out the how. Surround yourself with unreasonable people. Strive to be unreasonable.
Let's learn to be a church that is unreasonable. Let's dream unreasonable dreams, set unreasonable goals, and demonstrate unreasonable faith. Let's love in unreasonable ways, forgive in unreasonable circumstances, and give to unreasonable extents. When we are unreasonable, we are more like Christ. God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine. May we each surrender our hearts and our lives to God, exhibit unreasonable trust in Him, and watch in wonder at all that He will accomplish for His kingdom through us and His church.
Blessings and peace in Christ,
Associate Pastor, Cornerstone