I’m thinking that if Jesus showed up in 2010 He would be considered by most to be a lunatic or a jerk. Imagine a man telling people that He is the Son of God today and collecting followers and radically preaching The Good News.
Just imagine that.
In America, the vast majority of which is wealthier than the vast majority of the world, I think He’d get a reception sorta like He did when He was arrested. Hatred and venom.
I think people like those in the mass media of Christian Jesus-selling-for-a-huge-profit would be a lot like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. They would most likely come to hate that man so much they’d wish He was dead — or in jail for life.
People listen up.
I read a book by Francis Chan recently that really made me think. It’s called “Crazy Love”. I highly recommend it. It started this cage rattling that I felt I needed. My father-in-law died unexpectedly in February. My grandmother died last week. In the midst of all of that sorrow, I’ve had to do life as usual and boy am I ever busy. I haven’t made a lot of time for radical faith in recent months so I asked some friends of mine to guide me to a book that would rattle my spiritual cage. I like to be alive in my faith.
This morning while my eyes were still crusty with sleep and my lips were practically sticking to my teeth because my overnight teeth whitener icky stuff that I brush on before bed had just about glued them together, I started thinking about Jesus’ rich man/camel/heaven comment. I really dislike that comment. It makes me uncomfortable. It goes like this… [I underlined the main thing that strikes me]
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[e] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[f] No one is good but One, that is, God.[g] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[h] and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”[i]
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[j] What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.23Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Crap! Right? WE are rich, y’all. We. The American people. I don’t care if you don’t drive a Mercedes or have a million servants at your beck and call. YOU are rich. This verse applies to US. Americans. The ones who have a home and a car. The ones who have a refrigerator, running water, and a toilet that flushes. You and me. We.
Humbling, isn’t it?
Contrast that with the Christian popular authors and speakers or our day who basically tell you to GET MORE and to FEEL GOOD about yourself. Say what?
Jesus Christ was radical. He makes me uncomfortable.
All these popular mainstream Christian “leaders” make me feel good about myself and my life and make me feel comfortable right where I sit.
I want radical.
Because I want to follow Christ.
What will you choose?
By the way,
I don’t really think
that Jesus is a jerk.
Just to be clear.