Sunday was #ToplessDay.
They had a big parade in Vancouver. It was the trending hashtag on Twitter. And as crazy as this may sound, Jesus sees every single one of those #ToplessDay pics and people, and he remembers worship.
Let me explain.
But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. Romans 5:20
Jesus had close encounters with raw sexuality. Twice in the Gospels we read of a women who was bathing him with oil, crying over him, stroking his feet with her long hair, while kissing him. And he said about one of them, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
If we were to visualize that scene without Jesus, but rather think of another 30 year old virgin, it would almost look erotic.
It pushes all the boundaries of culture and norm. And I can imagine being incredibly uncomfortable if I were sitting next to Jesus at that very precise moment.
Here is the sinless prophetic Messiah, being physically touched by a woman who was a known “sinner.” It it were 2016 that lady would probably be a pornstar or a prostitute; or maybe someone like Kim Kardashian.
A girl who was known for her sex tapes and her nude selfies. A woman of influence who embraced sexual sin as part of her persona.
Beautiful, seductive, powerful.
Comfortable with #ToplessDay.
The religious people who were sitting next to Jesus recognized her. Just like most of us recognize half-naked celebrities.
The good news is that Jesus is not afraid of Kim Kardashian’s selfies. He is not put off by her vibe.
On the contrary, he loves her.
No doubt, he believes there is something better for her; a higher calling. He would certainly invite her to “sin no more” but only, and always only, after saying: “I do not condemn you.”
That is the model of John 8.
And those were the exact words that Jesus spoke to the woman who was caught in the act of adultery.
A different, sinful woman who was taken out the arms of another woman’s husband, and thrown at the feet of Jesus to be judged.
According to the Law of Moses, stoning her was the righteous punishment. But Jesus was not afraid of the tramp who committed adultery. He was not put off by her sin and her stench.
On the contrary, he loved her.
We know this is just one of the many times things like these happened to Jesus. He was surrounded by people of all different backgrounds. In different scenarios. With different circumstances and transgressions.
For three years he was in contact with “the worst of the worst”, and there, Jesus saw everything.
Women with period issues. Girls that were known for being slutty. Older ladies who took care of his ministry expenses. Harlots and virgins. And beautiful females who loved to cook and pray with him.
But you never hear Jesus directly telling them to dress or talk or stare differently. I know that sexual perversion is a humongous issue that has corrupted children and destroyed marriages. It is not something to be taken lightly!
However, the approach of Jesus was to win the hearts of those who had sexual sin so that the affection that was used wrong, would be turned right.
Darkness into light.
Sin into repentance.
Sexual sin into worship.
Yes, Jesus had close encounters with raw sexuality. But on both occasions, the women were not seducing him. They were worshipping their new lover. A lover who loved differently. A lover who was not looking to take advantage of them. A lover who was also a Father and a brother. A lover who was a savior from all the other hurtful lovers.
The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in every way. That means that he was tempted with lust and sexual desire. He was tempted to take advantage of the women who trusted him. He was tempted to use his charisma and power to gain control. To abuse and manipulate.
He had a few Kardashians surrounding him. But Jesus loved them right. And they became faithful disciples; messengers of truth.
There was also the woman in the well in John 4. Jesus sat there alone with her. When the disciples returned they were amazed (not in a good way) about the fact that he was talking to a Samaritan woman.
Jesus held nothing back. He intentionally asked for her husband knowing that she had 5 husbands and the man she was currently with was not. He invited her to speak openly and candidly about her situation, not so he could judge her, exactly the opposite, so he could share his revelation with her.
In turn, she became a radical evangelist who inspired a whole town to believe and welcome Jesus into their midst.
When the teachers judge, Jesus welcomes. When the pharisees condemn, Jesus forgives. When the scribes reject, Jesus heals.
I used three examples which relates to women not because women are the issue. The opposite. I’m inviting us men to take the Jesus approach.
Instead of trying to control how women dress, think, eat, talk, lead… let’s love them and protect them and encourage them, Jesus-style.
Jesus the man, was faced with long cleavages, dark-haired seduction and short skirts. But he never sinned. He never abused, never controlled; but He did honored their beauty, not through lust, but compassionate love.
“Because God is the One who designed and activated your sex drive, it follows that He has both wisdom and strength for directing it toward its true purpose.”
Kris Vallton in Moral Revolution
When we judge others because they sin differently than us, we prove that we are still trying to deal with the splinters in their eyes, and not the logs in ours.
If we preach all the verses against lust and seduction and sexual sin (which is the right thing to do) then we also need to teach all the verse on beauty and creativity and romance and awesome sex (which is the best thing to do).
#ToplessDay is a manifestation of a world that is hungry for the real love that we have encountered.
A love that is based on honor, not shame.
A love that is based on joy, not selfishness.
A love that lasts longer that a clever hashtag or a cute snapchat.
“How you choose to live is the biggest decision you get to make. You can live powerless or powerful, fearful or faith-filled.”