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Is Christianity Counterintuitive? (Y1.T2.D19)


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Two blogs ago I used if-then logic to direct us to truth, and one blog ago I determined that Christianity is the most logical of all beliefs.


As a logical person, you could then conclude that since a synonym for "counterintuitive" is "illogical." This might lead us to believe if Chrisitanity is logical, it couldn't be counterintuitive.


But guess what. Christianity is both logical and illogical.


Don't worry—I'm not about to pull you into a self-defeating debate, I promise. Merriam Webster's definition of counterintuitive is "contrary to what one would intuitively expect."


You see, the entrance to Christianity is logical (i.e., I'm a flawed person who needs the help of a flawless Savior). However, that flawless Savior asks me to perform logic-defying feats. For example:

These two things contradict each other when taken out of context. What they have in common is the call to prioritize God above all.


Other counterintuitive instructions include: "The last will be first and the first will be last" (Matthew 20:16). Or the message Jesus gives in today's text: "Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).


When we enter into a logical, loving relationship with God, he asks us to perform counterintuitive acts.


Challenge Your Natural Instincts


1 When he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching him. 2 Behold, a certain man who had dropsy was in front of him. 3 Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”


4 But they were silent.


He took him, and healed him, and let him go. 5 He answered them, “Which of you, if your son or an ox fell into a well, wouldn’t immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”


6 They couldn’t answer him regarding these things.


7 He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them, 8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him, 9 and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”


12 He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. 13 But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”


15 When one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is he who will feast in God’s Kingdom!” (Luke 14:1-15)

Matthew 22:1-3, Luke 14:16-17


4 Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding feast!”’ 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise; (Matthew 22:4-5)


18 They all as one began to make excuses.


“The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’


19 “Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.’


20 “Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’ (Luke 14:18-20)


6 and the rest grabbed his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 When the king heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. (Matthew 22:6-7)


21 “That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’


22 “The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’ (Luke 14:21-22)


Matthew 22:8-9, Luke 14:23


24 For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.’” (Luke 14:24)


10 Those servants went out into the highways and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests.


11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who didn’t have on wedding clothing, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here not wearing wedding clothing?’ He was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into the outer darkness. That is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.’ 14 For many are called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 22:10-14)


25 Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard[a] his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple. 27 Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross, and come after me, can’t be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace. 33 So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-33)

Meditation Moment


Dear God,


I accept that this Christian life isn't easy, but I'm not afraid, since You are with me. You are my God, and You promised to strengthen me, help me, and uphold me with Your right hand of righteousness (Isaiah 41:10). I come to Your throne with boldness, that I may receive mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16) to perform beyond my natural instincts. I can accomplish even the most impossible tasks through Christ, who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).


Amen.


Meditation Music Link

 

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