Reflection – tuesday week 5

October 25, 2006

So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about what it really looks like to follow Jesus.  I’ve talked to dozens of people, journaled about it, read books on it and studied the life of Jesus in the Gospels.  And I’m still confused. 

I feel like all my life the Church has been telling me what it looks like to follow Jesus.  to be a good Christian, I have to play by the rules. I have to be a nice little girl, I can’t drink, I should never stir things up and I have to read my Bible every morning at 7am. And if I really love Jesus, I won’t question the system.  This makes Jesus feel so weak to me. It reminds me of those pictures of Jesus as a white guy with long hair hugging a lamb.  Have you seen those pictures? Where Jesus looks like the sweetest, most non controversial guy ever? I hate those pictures.  That is not who God is to me.  Maybe Jesus cares if I drink or not, but I don’t think his main goal in life was to keep me out of the bars.  I mean, come on. Jesus wasn’t some yes man walking around telling people how great life was if we could only stay away from the “social evils”. 

No, Jesus was this incredibly passionate, intense and loving guy who went around trying to save the world. Literally.  He saw the poor being beat down, and he stood up for them.  He saw the widows being neglected, and he brought them back into society.  He saw two nations at war, and he encouraged his followers to care for their enemies, instead of killing them.  And he talked about what the world could look like if God was running it.  That’s why he was arrested by the government and killed. Not because he was some meek little shepherd, but because he was talking about a radical new way of living. Because he was challenging the status quo.

I think if we look at Jesus’ life, we get a better idea of how we are supposed to be living. I think that Jesus modeled the right kind of life for us. He shows us who we should take care of, the kinds of things we should be interested in, and how we can fix the broken things in the world.  Jesus was on a mission to make the world a better place, and he invites us to help him in that work.  As I study this more, I am just starting to understand what it really looks like to imitate Jesus.  And even though intellectually I am getting it, I still don’t really have any idea of what it practically looks like for me to follow

I hate the fact that the Church always focuses on the non offensive Jesus, content to look after his sheep and say out of the world’s affairs.  Sure, I think Jesus has something to say about me being nice and if I read my Bible or not, but I don’t think that was the only thing he was talking about. Jesus was trying to change the world.  He was trying to fight against the systems that lead to oppression and poverty and loneliness. He was hanging out with the people who were rejected by society, and he was trying to give us a new way of living life.  Why doesn’t the Church talk about this kind of stuff?  Why do we focus on the well behaved Jesus in the picture instead of seeing Jesus for who he really was?

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One Response to “Reflection – tuesday week 5”

  1. Matt (Mateo) said

    It actually boggles my mind as well. I was always under the impression that a radical Jesus was the point. I don’t see anything that Jesus offers me except a radical new way of life. I wouldn’t be a Christian if Jesus was exactly in line with the world-this world is screwed up. The Gospel seems to be littered with well established people in the Jewish community challenging Jesus. I can just imagine people asking Jesus a question only to be disatisfied with what Jesus gave them because it was so crazy. I remember reading parts of Matthew to find answers to a number of things only to find Jesus saying its not enough to live by worldy standards but to live by His standards. I’m not surprised that Jesus was killed-He pissed off alot of people with his crazy ideas of loving everybody-especially when they dont deserve it.

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