Many people have probably heard about the most recent plea by Preacher Jesse Duplantis to receive enough monies to buy/purchase a new Falcon 7 private jet, at the cost of $50+ million. It’s been all over the news for the past few days; ever since he came out publicly to ask people to give to this campaign.
Here is a link to one of the publications on this: http://time.com/money/5293979/jesse-duplantis-televangelist-private-jet/
I normally don’t take to blogs, to media, to any outlet in order to offer a response to such things. But in these past 24 hours, I have felt compelled to give a personal perspective to what is a heartbreaking conversation piece. And while I would love to say that something like this surprises me and takes me off guard, the reality is: It Should, But It Doesn’t Surprise Me (at least, it doesn’t any longer).
Today (Thursday 5/31/18), I was actually asked by someone outside of our church community, in a casual conversation, “What do you think about that story of Jesse Duplantis?” It came from someone who I’ve come to know better in the past 2 years, and from someone who I am sure was interested in seeing what I might respond with. It didn’t take me long to reply to him.
Here is my take: I believe that our Great Lord and Savior would, if He were here today on His first coming, going around the world and spreading His Good News, would travel commercially. Perhaps, as Jesse states: “He would not ride on a donkey,” but maybe He would. In fact, I believe He would if it would lead others to belief, to faith, and to new life. Plus, prophecy was based on His riding a donkey anyhow!
I believe Jesus would do just about anything to impart God’s will and execute the ministry of the Kingdom. Including, traveling commercially in order to interact and make connections with people…with everyday people…with sinners…with those who need hope. That is just who Jesus is.
How can that be done flying privately? How can it be done running around the world to make preaching engagements, but avoiding meeting others
where they are? Airports and airplanes are great ways
to meet people at opportune times.
The heart of Jesus was always to pour Himself out; to give of Himself; to meet people on the streets, by the lake/river, in their home, and on the steps of the temple. Jesus was where the people were.
That is how I responded today. A lot of good work could be done with $50 million dollars. A lot of lives could be changed and transformed for all eternity. While I don’t judge or have to answer for Jesse Duplantis or any other, my assessment is that I would rather see resources put into the things most important to God’s heart: seeking and saving the lost; feeding the hungry; clothing the naked; building up the church in spirit and in truth; giving back to the community; etc.
May the Lord help us all, to be people after God’s own heart.