…More things that Jesus said or did. You know, historically speaking, there’s just an awful lot about him that we don’t know. We’ve only got a few years of Jesus’ words to go by. But those few years of his actions and words have affected all of humanity; even the lives of those who do not believe that Jesus is God have been affected. With such little information, there’s always questions and thoughts that just pop up in my head. For instance…
I’ve heard time and time again that Jesus lived a “perfect life” or a “sinless life”. Perfect and sinless are definitely not the same, but American’s tend to worship things that are perfect. (American Christianity is a whole other topic.) What if Jesus life weren’t perfect? Why is it imperative that he was sinless? (I get it, but let’s just suspend a belief for a moment to explore the significanc of it.) Of course we love the idea of him being able to do what we can’t. We need that perfect idol right? He’s God after all and if he can’t live a perfect life then no one can. But can we really quantify what a perfect life is? One person’s perfect life is another’s train wreck. Sinless, sure…that sounds great, but I’m willing to bet that what people saw as sin in one era of history could be different from today. There are so many people with sliding scales. WHICH ONE IS GOD USING!!!
For what it’s worth, “sin” is derived from the Old English word synn meaning “moral wrongdoing, injury, mischief, enmity, feud, guilt, crime, offense against God, misdeed.” Basically the typical meanings that people think of these days. The Greek text actually uses the word ἁμαρτία hamartia which basically means to miss the mark, especially in spear throwing. In Hebrew it is hata – “sin” originates in archery and literally refers to missing the “gold” at the center of a target, but hitting the target, i.e. error.
We’ve come a long way from “missing the mark” to “committing an offense against God.” Certainly offending God is missing the mark, but is missing the mark always a sin offensive to God? If I think about this in terms of Jesus, certainly he didn’t miss any marks or offend God. So he didn’t sin right!? Then there is the notion that a sin is simply being disobedient to God or failing to follow through on a command (whether intentionally or not.) Should we just combine all of our definitions?
Also, does a single sin separate us from the love of Christ? Hmm, salvation…sin…evil…that’s a whole other discussion as well, but intertwined with this.
Okay, but still….WHAT IS A SIN? (There are obvious ones – murder. There are not obvious ones – getting a haircut.) Missing the mark and offending God can be subjective. I love metal, but to some people that style of music is sinful and offensive to God. But to me it’s not a sin due to the content and meaning of their lyrics. What is a sin for one may not be for another… So, God is turning people away from communing with him due to what we perceive as vile? (Ugh…another topic?)
What if we just make this too complicated sometimes? (This would be a great sermon series…I’d title it, “It’s Complicated”)
I still need to explore this, but what I refuse to let happen to get into a vicious cycle of failing God and asking for forgiveness because then I’m correcting my action instead of correcting my orientation (look up repent). If so, then God is nothing but a form of behavior modification and Jesus died for a much deeper issue than that. Hmm…something to pontificate indeed.