Just one of the things my head has been grinding today. Every time I think I get a fix on this person, I realize how little I know about him. And no matter what you believe about him, well, nobody can deny that he is a fascinating figure. The center of controversy everywhere he went, and still, today.
Who is he?
When I was a kid he was fuzzy wuzzy. He hugged lambs. He spoke always in a slow, sonorous voice, dispensing wisdom from on high with every word. Always dignified. Always Jesusy.
My friend Leisha Otieno shattered that Jesus when she said she found it hard to believe that he and his disciples never had a farting contest.
Well, they were guys. 13 guys. Come on.
I actually maintain that farts are proof God has a sense of humor. I mean, it makes that noise and it comes from there. Maybe it’s just a safeguard to make sure we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
But just who is Jesus?
I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the concept of inventing your own Jesus in your own head. I’ve done that. There was fuzzy lamby Jesusy Jesus, and then there was the “I’m always mad at you because you’re not perfect” Jesus, and on really bad days there was the “I’m dangling you by a freaking shoelace over hell, woman, and if you screw up one more time so help me” Jesus. I’m sure none of these were actually Jesus. But my point is that it’s something we all do.
When I read the Bible (which, I’m freely admitting, is not as much as I should), the Jesus I find is loving, but not safe. He’s dangerous, a little wild, unpredictable. That Jesus doesn’t belong on a felt board. He’s passionate, vibrant, alive. Someone I want to know.
I have a theory about why people love C.S. Lewis so much. We joke a lot about “the gospel of Lewis,” and sometimes make fun of pastors who love to use “The Chronicles of Narnia” in sermons. But when I read Lewis, I always feel like he had some kind of inside track on God. The man had an understanding of Christ that I envy – or maybe it was just that he, unlike so many of the rest of us, was content to let Jesus be who he is.
Jesus is who he is, despite what we want to make him – or what we want to make him stand for, or what we want to make him believe, or what ideas we want him to endorse. He is who he is. He is outside of our expectations, and conforms to no-one and nothing.
The man is God. In a world where opinions are swayed by Youtube or an article or a Facebook post (or a blog), I am relieved that he is unchanged.
Jesus is forever my loving savior, but today he’s my constant, someone sure and steady in a world of change. He will not leave me, not hurt me, not ever let me down, not ever change his mind or his heart. My rock.
Who is he to you today?