What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Jesus Should Tick You Off

The first temptation recorded includes the delusion that haunts all of humanity in any historical record, religious or otherwise: "you will be like God." Much of the record of human misery can be traced to people believing this lie.

One particularly subtle way this temptation works itself out is with Christians and Jesus. Jesus is such a full, colorful, and vibrant personality that any personality type can find something about him to support their natural bent.

For example, if you're prone towards self-righteousness there's Jesus cleansing the temple. See that, God hates evil--just like me! We should, too! Let's go clear out everyone from our church that's sinning like Jesus did!

And if you're a nice, kind, gentle pleasant-type, there's Jesus calling us to turn the other cheek! See that, Jesus is a nice person who accepts everyone and would never condemn or put limits on anyone--just like me! Let's just love everyone like Jesus did!

One thing that's kicking my butt as I'm spending the summer looking through Jesus' questions in the gospels is the variety and range of tone and type of questions. Sometimes his questions are gentle and kind and inviting. Sometimes his questions seem aggressive and rude and angry.

I'm inclined to make Jesus into my own image just like the rest of us. There's parts about Jesus that I intuitively like. That's as it should be. But there's parts about Jesus that I honestly struggle with or just don't like at first. And that, too, is as it should be.

If Jesus is anything like God, he is not us. And we need to be corrected by what needs correcting in us.

If we're paying attention to Jesus, he should tick us off. If he hasn't ticked you off at all recently, you might want to make sure that you haven't slouched into a selective Jesus made in your own image.

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