Why didn’t Jesus pull rank?

What with Patrick’s post about Scot McKnights new book ‘the King Jesus Gospel’ I thought it might be about time that I asked a long lasting niggling question of mine.

The whole idea that the gospel is ‘Jesus is Lord’ as opposed to the “…existential plan of salvation, detached from the OT and the story of Israel…” has completely blown my mind over the past few years.  Since the penny dropped I feel like I’ve been walking around thinking ‘it’s so obvious, why didn’t I see this before?’.  “Jesus is Lord” are the most beautiful words.

Anyway as time went on I began to really grab hold of this ‘Jesus is Lord’ message it began to shape my whole life more and more.  If Jesus is Lord then it is He who should dictate who I am and what I do.  Then I started to think that this is also true for other people.  That they should be living their lives as disciples of Jesus and when they weren’t happy with that I would say ‘well I don’t care how you feel…Jesus is LORD! so deal with it… you don’t have a choice.’ I began to use this good news that Jesus is Lord as a stick to beat people with and suddenly it stopped sounding so much like good news.

Then about a month ago, this thought occured to me ‘Jesus was Lord, knew he was Lord, said he was Lord and yet never used it to force people into following him.’ He never said ‘look, just shut up and do as I say ’cause i’m Lord’.  Jesus never seemed to use the fact that he is Lord to pull rank on people. At least as far as I can see.

So why?


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6 Comments on “Why didn’t Jesus pull rank?”

  1. It’s possible that I am missing a nuanced element to your question (and I apologise if I am) but isn’t the answer simply that God made us with free will and therefore it’s His desire that we respond to Him because it’s *our* desire, and not because we feel obliged/compelled/afraid?

  2. meinmysmallcorner Says:

    Mr Jayber Crow (the original one) can answer that…

    “Christ did not descend from the cross except into the grave. And why not otherwise? Wouldn’t it have put fine comical expressions on the faces of the scribes [etc] if at that moment He had come down in power and glory? Why didn’t He do it? Why hasn’t he done it at any one of a thousand good times between then and now?

    … He didn’t, He hasn’t, because from the moment He did, He would be the absolute tyrant of the world and we would be His slaves. Even those who hated Him and hated one another and hated their own souls would have to believe in Him then. From that moment, the possibility that we might be bound to Him and He to us to one another by love forever would be ended.”

    If you have a copy, read on – it starts about a third down p295 of the Counterpoint edition. If you don’t have a copy, then you’re probably not a Christian.

  3. […] post is in response (sorta) to this post which I read this evening and linked fairly interestingly to the topic of conversation which […]

  4. transfarmer Says:

    aye you’re all right with your super duper points in my opinion. I think I already thought this maybe what’s niggling me is the fact that if this is true then why the hell am i so angry all the time at how ‘slow’ or ‘apathetic’ the church is. I use ‘jesus is Lord’ to justify my frustration but I shouldn’t. I need to go talk to God. mostly because you’re all loosers *JOKES*.

  5. meinmysmallcorner Says:

    Basically you’re slow and angry because you don’t REALLY believe Jesus is Lord. He really IS Lord – just DEAL WITH IT, RIGHT ??

    *takes big stick and starts beating…*


    Did that help?

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