Jesus. The simple mention of that name arouses tears of joy and pain. How can someone be so celebrated yet so vehemently cursed in the same conversation? Furthermore, should I even care about what Jesus said and did thousands of years ago? What's the big deal?
Whether you subscribe to His teachings or not, Jesus' words and actions changed the game. Very few people would argue against the basics of what Jesus taught. Ideas like love, justice, and selfless service are interwoven into our Western morality, and one does not have to be a "disciple" of His to agree with their validity and impact.
Since two thousand years ago, however, people across the globe have incited fiery debates and even bloody battles against and about this unarmed, Jewish carpenter. Before His time on Earth and after, other teachers have propagated similar ideas without coming close to the magnitude and longevity of Jesus' influence. Jesus is famous not because what He said but because of who He said he was.
In yesterday's post, I briefly shared my views of God's existence, identity, and participation in my life. One of the building blocks in the foundation of my faith is the assurance of God's incomprehensibility. By definition, no human mind, spirit, or body can fully attain, let alone participate in, God's greatness without divine assistance. Or else, God would cease to be glorious, right? If I can reach God by way of my own reason or merit, then God is not very impressive. The truth, however, is all of my attempts to attain the fullness of God are like using step ladders to scale Mt. Everest. God Himself would have to help me.
And this is where Jesus becomes quite appealing.
Jesus is famous not because what He said but because of who He said he was.
Jesus says of Himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me" (John). If you want a permanent reputation of being super-conservative and close-minded, quote that statement in your next coffee meeting.
Christian Plurality is a popular religion today despite its glaring contradictions. But I understand the temptation. Surely God would not limit revelation of Love and Justice through a single person, people think. It would make more sense for God to open multiple windows and doorways to enter Truth, right? I ponder the same questions. Any god who requires heavenly flight and enlightenment from us without giving wings or superpowers to us must be villainous or at least really mean.
Personally, I love Jesus' words. They are seasoned with confidence and security in something/someone beyond this world. Despite the threat of hatred from friends and family, ridicule from respected teachers of the day, and an impending, agonizing, undeserved death at the hands of the Roman state, Jesus is unshakeable in His identity as not only God's life boat for humanity, but as God Himself.
The glorious truth of Jesus Christ is not that I have found God but that God has found me.
Deep within my being I long for a perfect world: untainted beauty, virtuous justice, relief from turmoil and disease, and peaceable living for us all. I don't see this perfection here (yet) and can only hope the template exists somewhere above my head. So, instead of arguing about how many paths there should be, I will run hard on the path clearly marked and paved, the one that leads to a Good Father longing to welcome His children home again.
Check out my newest song "Would You Be Mine" feat. Emoni