Sunday, March 30, 2008

impressed with Jesus

My job painting is cool for different reasons. I get to hang with some good dudes and talk about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. I get to spend time meditating and praying some as well. I also get to listen to my "Wal-Mart iPod" [a really cheap-o mp3 player]. This usually includes music, sermons, lectures, etc. But this past week I listened to the first 12 or 13 chapters of the gospel of Matthew. It was fun to try to think really Jewish when I was listening to the genealogy. It was intense, imagining the birth narrative and all that happened with Herod, Mary, Jo, shepherds, and the Magi. The preaching, baptisms, and temptations of chapters three and four with John, Jesus, and Satan were all provoking to listen to as well.


When I got to chapters 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, I was blown away. This was God speaking. But He was a carpenter. This was the Messiah finally beginning His ministry, but He sure didn't look like an anointed king or a priest. As I listened, my puny theological categories were shattered. How I tend to think of Jesus was put back in its place. I was humbled, convicted, enthralled, and massively impressed with Jesus. He was, and is, full of grace and truth. I could hear it as clear as day. Every paragraph seemed to be evenly salted with compassion and justice, with tolerance and judgment, blessings and warnings, and with love and authority. And "when he finished these words, the crowds were amazed at his teaching for he was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes" [Mt 7.28-29].

The kingdom has come in Jesus. Life in and with Him now is going to look different. Is this true for me? I know it is in theory and in eternity, but for some odd reason that occasionally gets skewed in practice. Holy Spirit, help me


Saint said...

It's amazing what God looked like when he came to Earth.

Eudoxus said...

Jesus definitely didn't come like anyone expected Him to. Reminds me of an old Collin Raye song..."What if Jesus Came Back Like That." Have we missed seeing Jesus in our lives simply because we're looking for our own expectations? I know I have.

Christina Ottis said...

you know what's not good about your painting job?? you're not on gmail chat anymore! good post though... i love the contrasts you made about his tolerance and judgment, etc. The most challenging thing is that we are called to live like him. That's something that is overwhelming me lately.