I’ll say it real plain… Jesus would be asked to step down from ministry today in many places simply because He was being Jesus. Although many people began to flock after Jesus, even into desolate places, many also ended up turning away because He wasn’t trying to impress them and He wasn’t trying to “dumb down” His message so that no one would misunderstand Him.
He walks out into a spontaneous mass gathering of people who are there to hear Him and see what He does. He screams out with boldness, passion, and conviction, “Eat my flesh, drink my blood!” He knew He was declaring what He heard in Spirit, and He went full-on with it. That’s the Jeremy Caris “Jesus was hardcore” version of the story. I just don’t think He was like little miss muffet sitting on a tuffet and on a lovely hillside talking in a soft voice that everyone could magically hear.
While He’s watching people walk away in disgust and confusion, talking to reporters and journalists on the way out, He’s not panicking about the fact that He just lost financial support, popularity, and may end up on the news channel tomorrow morning. His faith wasn’t in His ability to manipulate the fickleness of people, coerce followers, or his ability to deflect every question and accusation with an answer that’s not an answer. Instead, He turns around from those walking away, and with a glint in His eye, He asks the twelve disciples if they want to go ahead and make a clean break as well.
Apparently Jesus wasn’t interested in taking advantage of people in ways that we commonly think would be for a greater good. Think about that, and let it sink in real deep.
We talk about being like Christ, until it comes to things like this… and then we just claim we don’t understand Him fully. And after all, we think, “we’re not Jesus so we shouldn’t presume to think we can act like that, especially when we don’t understand His actions.” But I am being fashioned into His likeness, I have the mind of Christ and the same Spirit that raised Him up. And I’ve been thinking about all of this because there is a part of me that absolutely cannot conform to what people want, expect, or demand just for those reasons.
I love the non-conformist side of the fully surrendered Son. Conformity to anyone above God alone is misplaced loyalty. As far as I’ve considered it, I cannot see how anyone surrendered to God can conform fully to the demands, pressures, or expectations of people, systems, or cultures. Jesus just didn’t. He participated, worked within, and celebrated them up to a point. But He would break all of that in a moment to decree clarity from Heaven.
Its time for those to rise up who will not be pressured into conformity—not pressured into the mold of whatever it is that everyone thinks works but isn’t producing anything in the likeness of the life of Christ Himself. Its time for the non-conformists to realize that they are not irrelevant.
If that’s you, the enemy may have reinforced the idea that you can’t mesh with people. But the reality is that you have the power to shift people. You have been misunderstood and mistrusted because you are not motivated by self, wealth, or power. And, frankly, most people don’t know how to deal with people like you. But if you learn to be you and do what you have been given the strength to do, you can influence a lot of people and give courage to others like you.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.