Jesus Chose his path, he chose to leave the relative safety of Galilee and his rural ministry, and he chose to confront the political and religious power-structures at the very heart of their existence, in Jerusalem.
But this shouldn't come as a big surprise. God has allowed us to choose from the very beginning, for example, the presence of a forbidden tree places Adam and Eve in a position of having to choose whether to obey or disobey. Cain and Abel, both sons of Adam. Abel Chooses God. Cain chooses murder. And God lets him.
Abraham and Lot, both pilgrims of Canaan. Abraham chooses God. Lot chooses Sodom. And God lets him. David and Saul, both kings of Israel. David chooses God. Saul chooses power. And God lets him. Peter and Judas, both apostles, both deny their Lord. Peter denies him three times. Judas once. Peter seeks mercy. Judas seeks death. And God lets him.
Throughout history God has given us the freedom to choose. And no one preached about this more often and more clearly than Jesus. According to him, we can choose narrow gate or a wide gate; the narrow road or the wide road. We can choose to build on solid rock or on sinking sand; serve God or riches; be numbered among the sheep or the goats; attend the great banquet or remain outside in darkness.
Isn't this Christianity’s call? Hurry-up and make a choice!
Do I choose to follow the God of my salvation, or not?
So here it is 2016 and all of us have an opportunity to be just like Jesus, by that I mean, we have ever before us an opportunity to make a choice. And just what choice would that be? Jesus stands at the door and knocks - it is your choice whether or not to let him in, offer him a seat, and listen to what he has to say.
Artwork,Joppa, Israel - photo by Jason E. Royle