It’s embarrassing to admit, but somehow I’ve managed to conveniently package the story of Jesus in a nice and tidy box. I know the facts, but I’ve become numb to the mystery of the miracles, the scandal of his daily life and the cost of his call
I’ve accepted the convenient Christ of our culture rather than the scandalous Savior of the gospels.
The fact that he walked across the stormy waters seems as common to me as driving my car to the grocery store. It’s crazy that he could calm the raging sea of Galilee, crazy that He can calm my own sea of worries, yet more crazy that I’m so accustomed to him doing both of those that I’ve forgotten the mysterious miracle of it all.
And what about Lazarus? Jesus called up the stinking dead man from the grave back to life again. I’m embarrassed to admit that the story is so familiar to me that I hardly feel amazed. That’s what Jesus does. He raises people back to life from the grave—even Himself. Not only that, but He continues to give new life to people all around me—myself included. Yet, somehow, I’ve even grown numb to the resurrection miracle.
It’s not just the miracles. His whole life was so scandalous in his day, yet I’ve polished it enough so that it fits neatly in my box without any rough edges. The neater his life is, the neater my life is.
I sing the song about Zaccheous—“for I’m going to your house today, I’m going to your house today.”—without even thinking about how mad he made everyone for going to the house of the cheating scoundrel or about whose house I should be going to today. He touched the lepers, forgave the adulterous woman, washed his disciples feet. Who do I reach out to that I’m afraid to touch? Who do I need to forgive? Have I washed any feet lately through humble service?
Jesus’ whole life was a surprising contrast to what the people expected of the King. In His day, He got people’s attention. They were amazed. Afraid. Awed.
Some believed. Others scoffed. Some were threatened by his power; others worshipped his power. And there were those who wondered why he didn’t use more of his power.
He offended. He challenged. He served. He loved.
Yet somehow His story is not such a surprise anymore. We’ve made it convenient to follow Christ without much cost to his call. Our culture has neatly packaged the story of Christ, and I find it more convenient to follow him than the scandalous Savior of the gospels.
What about you? Who is the Jesus you follow? Is his story scandalous to you? Does he create a scandal in your own life? Or do you have a predictable polished life as a Christian because you follow a polished Savior, neatly packaged in a box?
I’d like to invite you to join me to take Jesus out of the neatly packaged box. Let’s be amazed. Let’s read his stories again with fresh eyes and an open heart. Let’s allow his story to impact our life story. Let’s follow his whole messy story, even if it makes our life messy.
Let’s get to know the scandalous Savior of the gospels, not the convenient Christ of our culture.
People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. Mark 7:37