Living A Prophetic Life
Jesus was a prophet. As a prophet He was so optimistic about what He could see us becoming that He set a prophetic goal for us so high it takes one’s breath away.
“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
Yes, this is a breathtaking prophecy. And to see it happen, everything Jesus said, lived and sacrificed was to move humanity toward this ultimate and optimistic goal.
Jesus spoke in a way so bold and clear so that we could not fail to understand how high this goal really is. With perfect clarity He tells us in the Sermon on the Mount just how far He sees us rising in Him to fulfill the prophecy. Without hesitation or doubt He tells us we must even be able to love our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.'” Matthew 5:43-48
Setting such an optimistic goal for people like us forces us to decide, as C. S. Lewis observed, if Jesus is Lord, Liar or Lunatic. Each of us must choose which correctly describes Him. His optimism about us is either true, a lie or the babblings of madman. We must choose.
To love another is to become a prophet. To love another is to see the future that is possible even before the person loved can see it. To love is to affirm that people can become more human instead of less. To love is to invest in another even when the other does not invest in themselves. To love an enemy is to see what they can become when they stop uselessly expending their lives hating us. To love an enemy is to break their heart with love instead of breaking their head by returning their hate.
Every act of genuine love is a living, flesh and blood prophesy. A prophetic life says no one is beyond redemption or completely lacking in value. God sent Jesus here to live just such a prophetic life. Now He sends us as prophetic lives as well.
The prophets of today are those who speak optimistically about another by loving them as they are while optimistically seeing what they can become. Love is the prophetic life and every believer in Jesus should be a prophet in someone else’s life. And that includes prophesying by love into an enemy’s life.
May the love we receive and deliver in Christ, be our prophetic life.