Equality As Jesus Revealed It
Excerpted from my book, Leaving and Finding Jesus
When I wrote the book, God Is (Not) In Control, I juxtaposed the broken paradigm of sovereign control with the sovereignty of cruciform love to highlight how the teaching of sovereignty through control has undermined trust and access to intimacy within the church today.
God is love; love is self-giving, others-focused; love is relational. When control is the foundation of a relationship, there is no equality. Without equality, trust cannot exist. Without trust, intimacy becomes impossible. A master-servant hierarchy is a three-foot concrete median theology that cuts us off from knowing oneness and experiencing union.
Equality is God’s idea, revealed perfectly in the incarnation through the Triune relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus revealed equality as fully God and fully human. Greater Love was a walking revelation of equality, and it looked like oneness with Father and Holy Spirit—and with us.
When I write about our equality with God, I write as a created being about my Creator. I am not suggesting equality in the context of measurements. I am not applying that word like a Rich Young Ruler on the road of lack. There are no microscopes powerful enough to make us equal in that paradigm.
Instead, I’m describing equality as Jesus revealed it. It’s not “equals” based on measurements; it has nothing to do with finite thinking or microscopes. I’m writing about an equality revealed by Greater Love laying down His life for His friends. (1)
Self-giving, other-centered love is the birthplace of true equality and is discovered in union.
Jesus included us in this equality when He prayed we would be one, just as He and His Father were one. “And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me…”( 2)
And Jesus revealed the nothing will be impossible power of this equality when He healed that oppressed boy with faith no larger than a mustard seed.
Like the Farmer, Jesus knew the power of seed. He knew measureless love always transforms the soil…
Jesus was a walking revelation of equality as our heavenly Father sees it—self-giving love for His friends, you, and me. And through the cross, Jesus invited us to participate in this equality. He invited us to take up our cross—greater love—and live one with Love, here, now.
Greater love is the truest definition of equality— and it saves us.
The world is hungry for this mountain moving—heaven to earth—equality; where the impossible becomes possible, where friends of God don’t just offer mathematical equations, systematic theology, principles, and disciplines, but also a measureless reconciling love that is powerful and effective and can provide measurable results.
Some might be uncomfortable with my suggestion that God wants equality with us, but when we discover and define equality in the context of Greater love, well, it’s not just possible. It’s the gospel good news, the whole story! There is no separation; we are one and ever awakening to our union!
Jesus prayed that we would be one, that we would know union, and that we would experience the same trust, intimacy, and equality He experienced and shared with our Father and Holy Spirit.
This is the equality of heaven come to earth. It’s about a Love that prefers one another, a love that involves free will, submitted to free will. It’s the equality of husbands and wives submitting one to another because wives and husbands love each other as Christ loved the church. (3) It’s the equality discovered when we lay down our lives.
“Take up your cross and follow me,” Jesus instructed. (4) It was an invitation for us to awaken to oneness with Him, our Father and Holy Spirit—and with each other, just as Jesus modeled.
As we follow Jesus’ example of Greater Love, we will discover true equality, first with God in the form of union and then with each other in the same way.
And all creation waits in eager expectation for this greater love equality to be revealed by sons and daughters, fathers and mothers! All creation longs for racial, cultural, and social equality to be lived out by those in mustard-seed friendships, those who know union and live as expressions of this equality. 5
The whole world is hungry for a church whose prayers are powerful and effective, a people that can speak to a mountain, “Move from here to there,” and nothing will be impossible for us. I’m convinced the world is reconciled through friends living as expressions of greater love equality.
1 John 15:13
2 John 17:21
3 Ephesians 5:22
4 Matthew 16:24
5 Romans 8:19