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Outrageous!

ArtPrize Swing Room

Why did Jesus give thoughtful people so many reasons to doubt and reject him?

Many of us overlook things he said and did that were outrageous—in his day. Yet to whatever extent we can think like those who feared and resented him, we too may begin to feel some of the ridiculous drama of someone who— seemed to live by his own facts and alternative sense of reality.

No wonder people of his day disagreed among themselves about whether he was a good man or someone who was tricking and deceiving the gullible. In so many ways Jesus sounded like someone we teach our children to distrust. He offered candy to people of childlike minds and promised the world to the poor.

He said he was from heaven. Everyone knew he was from Nazareth. He talked as if he could do no wrong, yet ye attracted the worst sorts of people. He claimed to understand Moses and God while saying that unless people ate his flesh and drank his blood they could have no part of him. No wonder so many of those who wanted to believe in him—simply couldn’t.

Even today, honest people have reasons to wonder. Jesus didn’t read the Scriptures the way we are taught to literally read them. He had what we might be inclined to call—the gall—of saying that if people believed in Moses, they would believe in him, and that if they didn’t believe in him, neither did they believe Moses.

Even though Jesus likened himself to so much of what we call our world, he— and those who claimed to speak for him— seemed to know that they were talking about something so different.

A river not like our rivers. A Father, yet not like our fathers. A consuming fire, yet not like our fires. A source of peace, yet not like our peace. A king not like our kings. Truth not like our truths. A Messiah, yet not like any Savior we’ve been waiting for.

And I’m thinking that’s just the beginning. Fill in the blank. Jesus said, “like a……” but not like any …….. we’ve ever seen before.

So how then do we explain our fascination with him?  And why do we wish everyone would just believe in and trust him? Is it because when he says “…………….”, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?


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209 Responses to “Outrageous!”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Mart, I was just about to turn off the computer and go when I seen your “outrageous” new subject.

    I wonder why it is we spend so much time trying to figure out what Jesus *did not* say as what He did?

    Thinking of course for myself it is the *hope* that Jesus offers that is more than a fascination of Him for me.

    Because without Him and His promises there is no hope for me, for my loved ones and certainly not for the world.

    Only a dark unforgiving life and then death with no justice for any, especially for the weak and vulnerable of mankind.

    Sadly or by design the very people who should have known who Jesus was at that time did not recognize Him. So He had to introduce Himself, but because they did not recognize Him He spoke in riddles and in mysteries.

    He is someone we all have to figure out in our own minds and hearts, the reward is “peace which surpasses understanding.”

    30 degrees under cloudy skies this morning.

    Steve

  • remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart, you ask:

    “So how then do we explain our fascination with him? And why do we wish everyone would just believe in and trust him? Is it because when he says “…………….”, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?”

    Have to agree, Steve, we deeply need the hope Jesus brings us. When we take in the long generations of promises: changes in ourselves, in the world, in the power of sin and death — we are moved to believe what He says and to trust Him. The prophets told of His coming. Then He came.

    A week from Thursday we will remember what He said the night He was arrested. As He blessed and broke the bread He said, “Take, eat, this is My body.” Then, He blessed and passed the cup and said, “Drink of this all of you; for this is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.”

    It seems to me that a Jesus-follower cannot simply wish everyone would trust and believe in Him. It is our way of being and relating in the world that are a living witness of His power to draw us into Himself. It is still outrageous that God loves the world so much!

    Life in God’s presence through Jesus’ victory over all darkness and death is far better than any other way to journey through this or any world. He is before Moses, He is an eternal high priest — the King of the universe.

    When Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn and went to the olive grove for the last time together, He said, “You will all become deserters because of Me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'”

    What Jesus was sent to do — what He did — what He is doing is completely outrageous.

    Blessings,
    Maru

    3C/38F here — partly cloudy. Showers forecast.