Does Jesus Rattle Your Brain?

Last week I got to sit in with a group of young (mostly twenty-something) folks at our church. My friend Bob told them something that’s been rattling in my brain.

If you want to follow Jesus, you need to get to know Him. It’s not enough to know His words. In fact, His words alone can get you messed up. You need to sit with Him, eat with Him, hear His story, and get to really know Him as a friend.

Bob was teaching about a particular parable, but his point was universal. I’m not going to know how to follow Jesus by reading more or studying harder. Jesus is a person, not a collection of ideas.

When I really know Jesus, I can’t take pieces and parts out of context to suit my purposes. Or I can, but I’ll know it’s not honest.

Ever see someone use Jesus to bully or shame or intimidate others into a particular behavior or belief? Ever been tempted to use such tactics? (I’m nodding my head. I’ll bet you are, too.)

I think that’s a sign we don’t know Jesus as well as we should, because that’s simply NOT His way. He had all the power in the universe. If He wanted to force people into compliance, He could have done so.

He didn’t.

He could have defended His country and demanded His rights. He could have squashed the Roman army like a bug under His thumb.

He didn’t.

His story is about service and sacrifice. He engaged with the marginalized, the poor, those who desperately needed a friend. He advocated for God’s version of justice.

He said, “Follow me.”

See why this has been rattling in my brain?

The more I know Jesus the more I realize He didn’t offer a few comfortable platitudes I could graft onto my existing life to make it easier. Really following Him is outrageous and risky and uncomfortable. He invites me to join Him on a difficult road.

Sounds nice—except for the “difficult” part.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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