Jesus’ School of Obedience

Brothels or Churches? Does it matter? If so, why? Who says? According to the Bible, and the ministry of Jesus Christ, we are called to make disciples of all nations (all people).

"Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them." Luke 12:37

In the New Testament, we find prostitutes finding Salvation through encounters with Jesus, while the religious people sought to murder him, and they did.

"In the days of His humanity, He offered up both prayers and pleas with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His devout behavior. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered." Hebrews 5:7-8

The teachings of Jesus Christ offer a startlingly refreshing perspective on discipleship and obedience. Through the Gospel, we discover that Jesus transforms the lives of the marginalized and outcast—specifically prostitutes and tax collectors—far surpassing His influence within the religious establishments of His time.

"But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, 'Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?' Jesus answered them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'" Luke 5:30-32

Jesus had more impact and success in brothels than He did in synagogues (Jewish Churches of Jesus Day). This paradoxical truth is a profound reminder that the Kingdom of God often flourishes in the places we least expect.

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

Jesus' ministry vividly illustrates that brothels, not just churches, can become classrooms of divine grace and redemption.

"When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?' On hearing this, Jesus said, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" Matthew 9:11-13

The heart of Jesus' teaching reveals a radical inclusivity and a prioritization of personal transformation over religious conformity. While religious leaders of the day often shunned those deemed sinners, Jesus sought them out, offering hope, salvation, and a new way of life.

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats... Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?... And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" Matthew 25:31-40

Jesus’ approach underscores a pivotal message: discipleship is not confined to the walls of a church. It is a vibrant, life-giving journey that reaches society's darkest corners. It's a powerful call to action for modern believers to re-evaluate where and how we pursue making disciples, emphasizing that the true measure of our obedience to Christ is reflected in our love and outreach to those society has cast aside.

"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. Then Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.'" Luke 7:47-48

As we grapple with the implications of Jesus' school of obedience, three key lessons emerge. Firstly, the Kingdom of God is open to all, especially those who recognize their need for God’s strength through Grace. Secondly, our mission as followers of Christ is to engage with the world in a way that reflects Jesus' heart for the lost and the least.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'" Revelation 21:1-4

True discipleship requires us to step beyond the comfort of familiar religious practices, embracing radical obedience that mirrors Jesus' love for the marginalized. By embracing these truths, we can begin to embody the Gospel's transformative power, making disciples in all places, from brothels to churches, and witnessing the unfolding of God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus had more success spreading the Gospel of His Kingdom in the streets where the prostitutes live than He had in the Synagogues (Jewish Churches). The prostitutes “heard” Jesus and they followed Him. The religious people of the day heard Jesus and plotted to kill him. Brothels or Churches? My vote is brothels.

"But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

We are called to MAKE DISCIPLES, not build churches. Jesus will build His Church, and we are to MAKE DISCIPLES. We can just as easily enter brothels to make disciples as we are to enter churches to make disciples.

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About the Author:
Craig Rogers
Craig Rogers

KINGDOM Empowered CEO and CoFounder

Craig Rogers is a visionary leader and serial...

Craig Rogers is a visionary leader and serial entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience in the behavioral health industry. His...