Jesus understood that concept well especially with the application of His saving grace. “Come as you are and repent and believe”. No Ten Step method of cleaning up your act before you can try something, no trying to pass a “goodness test” to prove you are ready to move forward, no having to memorize a repetitive saying or go through a hazing exercise to join as a member of a new club or a Kingdom. The Bible Stories of Zacchaeus and the Thief on the Cross (who are both with Jesus now living in His eternal Kingdom) are great examples of simplicity and His saving grace. We feature these Stories in our “Bridges 1 Curriculum” training and our national partners around the world use them over and over again in their local, “oral learning” communities.
Another part of this simplistic approach is that in the early part of the first century when Jesus began his public ministry, Jesus went to fisherman, tax collectors, zealots, harlots, and those “common men/women” of the Middle Eastern culture and asked them to “follow me”. He didn’t go to the leaders of the Jewish Temple, the Scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, those who were literate and highly educated in the Law, the Torah and the many legalistic doctrines of their day. We might even call those people the “PhD’s” of their day. In those days and times of the Middle east region and culture, a large majority of the people (some say at least 95%) were “Oral Learners” meaning that many couldn’t read or write in the languages of Aramaic, Greek or Hebrew and even if they could, they preferred to share and communicate information “Orally” through story, drama, dance and song. Interestingly enough, fast forwarding to this 21st century, at least 85% of the remaining 3 Billion people to be reached with the Gospel are still living in “Oral Learning” cultures.
Jesus changed the world with His saving grace by taking His simple message to the “common men/women” of this world starting in the first century with His 12 apostles and then His 72 disciples and sending them out to share the Gospel of the Good News in Oral Cultures starting with “men and women of peace” (again ordinary people living in the towns and villages of that time).
One of my favorite Stories and passages is the Story (found in our Bridges 1 Curriculum) from Acts 4-13 (NIV):
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been there with Jesus.”
I think I really enjoy that Story because I’m an ordinary, common man. I’m just a guy who loves Jesus and loves to share His Stories. And I do like to keep it as “Simple” as I can. Just like Jesus did. And Jesus was the best Storyteller of all time.