Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Another Unique Thing about Jesus

Today we encounter “the plastic Jesus” everywhere. This is not "the credit card Christ", even though some "prosperity churches" who teach without justification that being a Christian makes you rich, might like to view Him as a divine slot machine. The plastic Jesus is the created Jesus moulded to their tastes by those who have not studied Him:

Jesus, the champion of human rights and political correctness
Jesus, the international socialist - determined to destroy all forms of capitalism
Jesus, the pop icon in jeans, with long hair, disillusioned with fame
Jesus, the liberation-fighter as handsome as Che Guevara
Jesus, the business leader
Jesus, the fount of forgiveness who condones all sins and lifestyles
Jesus, the saint of pre-emptive strikes
Jesus, the sandalled nuclear pacifist
Jesus, the vegetarian
Jesus, the liberal
Jesus, the new age guru

None of these are the real Christ, who smashed the tables of the greedy in the Temple, ate lamb, cooked fish and said "I did not come to bring peace but the sword"; "put away your sword"; "you white-washed tombs"; "...they will be cut to pieces"; "offer them the other cheek" "give everything you have to the poor" and "my kingdom is not of this world".

The plastic Jesus is an expression of human ideologies which steal his name. If you steal the name of a cheese or trade mark, the law will come down on you. But if you steal the status figure of Jesus and claim Him for your ideology, no one complains. "Wishful thinking" or "fantasy" is the best way to describe them all.

The unique thing about Jesus is that it is impossible to pin Him down or to categorise Him. Almost everyone, through their politics, sexuality, speech gives themselves away eventually as one thing, as opposed to another. A fascinating thing about Jesus is that where there is a choice two things (polarities), He will often choose both, without morally compromising purity, or God’s immutable will. So when they asked Him whether to pay taxes, He said “Give to Caesar what is due to Caesar and to God what is God's”. Do one thing without forgetting to do the other....

He warmly embraced women’s development, dignity and spiritual education, while appointing twelve men as church leaders (and martyrs). He championed the poor and vulnerable, while saying nothing about slavery. He took a very non-liberal attitude on personal morals, while saving the life of an adulteress. He talked about His mother as if she were a nobody “Who is my mother?” and then called her “Beloved Woman”. He told stories about endless love and fatherly forgiveness in the Parable of the Prodigal Son and also the story of Dives, in which a chasm exists between the dead and living: a “warning” is all the latter will get. He is hard and soft, judgemental and forgiving, revolutionary and passive, liberal and traditional, left wing and right wing. You cannot pin him down: He is everything and Himself. He confounds polarised human thinking, a characteristic of the Fall.

Jesus is also both Justice and Love, at the same time. He is not “Love, Love, Love” which the modern mind, unfamiliar with the Bible, assumes. His Mercy is perfect for those who deserve it; His judgement is perfect justice those who merit it. In the same way, He deals with each person in the New Testament as He does with each of us, both as a figure in the Bible and as a reality, in life. He is the Master Soul who defies moulding or bending to our limited, sinful human thoughts. That is not to say that His teaching cannot be determined, but that the qualities with which it is applied must be Christlike, held in a perfectly wise balance. 

This lack of polarity and perfect balance is unique.


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