THE "SWEET" JESUS versus THE REAL JESUS
Anybody who wants to call themselves a Christian must seek to discover who Jesus really was and what his teachings are really like.
It is very true that Jesus came to COMFORT THE DISTURBED. But is it not at least equally true that Jesus came to DISTURB THE COMFORTABLE?
Was not Jesus God's disturber of the false peace?
Was not Jesus God's agitator against all that was/is wrong and all that was / is mediocre?
Was not Jesus God's provocateur?
Was Jesus a “nice” person?
He most certainly was and he most certainly could be. He healed the sick, raised the dead, comforted the bereaved, accepted lepers and called those of disrepute to be his friends and disciples. Many people felt “good” in the presence of Jesus and went away feeling good when they left him.
But that was not the WHOLE story. Jesus was more than capable of being “difficult”, “disturbing” and “challenging”.
He called Herod: “that fox”.
He called the Pharisees: “a brood of vipers”.
He said to Peter: “Get behind me Satan”.
He said: “Would that you were either cold or hot; but you are lukewarm; I will spit you out of my mouth”.
Somehow I often wonder if we have tried to theologically and spiritually castrate Jesus? We talk about “Sweet Jesus”. I do not think that Herod and the Pharisees would have found him sweet to their taste at all.
As Christians we must have courage like Jesus had courage.
It took courage to stand up in the synagogue in Nazareth and preach to his own people and have them drag him to the edge of a cliff to throw him over.
It took courage to say and do things that made some of his family think he had lost his mind.
It took courage to stand in front of the High Priest, Pilate and Herod and challenge their “authority”.
It took courage to sweat blood in Gethsemane.
It took courage to walk the Via Dolorosa.
It took courage to die and to fight the despair that hit him just before he died.
THEOLOGICAL / SPIRITUAL DIABETES:
Are we in danger of having theological and spiritual diabetes – of having too much of the “sweet” Jesus running through our Christian and ecclesiastical veins?
I know Jesus told us to turn the other cheek. But he did not turn much cheek the day he took a whip into the Temple with him.
And what do you do when you run out of cheeks?
He did not say to the man who said “let me go and bury my dead and then I will follow you” – “that’s ok – catch up with me in Capernaum next week when you have done all you need to do. He said – unkindly – “Let the dead bury the dead”!
Does Jesus really want us to let it pass when someone decides to be manipulative and twist the truth?
Does Jesus really think its ok NOT to have courage, backbone or guts?
Is it always “Christian” to tolerate moral weakness and say: “Ah God love him”.
Is there a difference between being Christian and being “inoffensive”; “mousy” or “unassertive”?
Why did Jesus say that he came to cast a fire on the earth and wished that it was “already blazing”?
Why did Jesus say that he came to turn father against son, mother against daughter………..
Is our Christianity to be reduced to our ecumenism and be all about people in for coats and ermine robes eating crust-less and mild tasting cucumber sandwiches to that they will not hurt their precious gums or have indigestion?
The Jesus I feel I know was as capable of causing indigestion, restless nights, the skitters, nightmares and palpitations as he was of causing people to sleep like babies having “sweet” dreams.
DOES JESUS WANT US TO BE;