The Grand Themes of Jesus

Spectacular dances performed at epic events like opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games have grand themes. Choreographers weave the steps, music, costumes, backdrop, lighting, and props to maximum effect. Audiences gasp and cheer when they see everything syncing perfectly and the themes popping.

Jesus’ life was a dance. The backdrop was formed by centuries of prophetic announcements. Props were provided by the human spectrum surrounding Him with their aches and anxieties, doubts and demons, wickedness and weaknesses, pettiness and prejudices, fears and failures, hype, hypocrisy and occasional humility. The grand themes? Well, if you had to summarize what Jesus accomplished on earth was what would you say?

  • Many people immediately say that He died to redeem us from sin to restore our relationship with God. That’s true, of course. But let’s not forget four other broad accomplishments or themes to His dance.
  • Jesus revealed the Father (John 14:8-9). The prophets had said a few things about the nature of God as a Father. However, Fathers are only really known as fathers by the way they and their children interact. Only Jesus, the Son of God, could reveal a heavenly Father with a heartbeat.
  • From Jesus’ first proclamation to His last instructions, and through many demonstrations and explanations in between, He was all about the kingdom of God, the Father (Mark 1:15; Acts 1:3).
  • He was faithful to make disciples who continued His work and made more disciples (John 17:6-19).
  • John the Baptist said Jesus would send the Holy Spirit (John 1:33). Jesus returned to the Father to do just that so His followers would have direction and power (John 16:7; 20:22; Acts 1:8).

Why is it important to understand all the grand themes in Jesus’ dance? Because we are called to follow Him and to become like Him. His dance is our dance . . . in part. The first and last items He already completed. No one ever needs to repeat Jesus’ sacrifice, and the Spirit is already poured out. However, we should tell of Jesus, explain what He did for us, be public in our interactions with the Father, extend His kingdom, and make more disciple-making disciples who live in the direction and power of His Spirit.

God continues to dance the last four of His themes. When we learn the steps of those themes we will be in sync with God. Then we can expect the greatest blessing and fruit in what we do. Anything else might be a waste of time. So, do the grand themes pop when we examine our lives?

But a caution about learning: Many of us get caught up in classes and study, but learning is a slow process.1 We will only ever learn a fraction of God’s ways. Learning takes time; relationship begins at the instant of adoption. A child that dances cares little about skill or understanding; its joy is in dancing with its father. Although we will never know exactly what God is doing, being with Him as He does it is enough. Following His lead is where the fun and fruit of dancing with God lies.

  1. Someone said it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. That’s five years of forty hour weeks, enough to gain a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. []

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