I’ve been thinking about Jesus a lot lately…I mean, I think of Him everyday, but specifically thinking about His life and ministry and what His day to day activities were like. What His true reactions were to crowds of thousands that followed Him. How He acted before and after He would perform miracles, like what His face looked like: cocky, if He’d stop and smile for the crowd, flashing his pearly whites, thanking them for their support, sign a few autographs, or if He’d simply carry on because there were actually important things to do with His life, like, say, telling people about eternal life and God’s unconditional love for them..you know, like changing the world kind of stuff…
What really made me ponder this was glancing around at the televisions in the gym and seeing blurbs on shows about famous people, absurdly wealthy hedonists, politicians, big events, award shows…bright lights, cameras galore, red carpets, pomp and pageantry…glitz and glamour, name dropping…attention, attention, attention! And that’s just on TV. How does it translate into our lives? Do we truly care about all that stuff? Why do you care if Sarah Doodlebop marries Johnny Dingleberry, but he secretly has 12 kids with 25 different women ($%^&), but he’s so rich that he’s paying gazillions of dollars in alimony and child support, so it should all work itself out and Sarah will still get her new Prada shoe collection that is due out next Spring and the dozen or so kids will all go to the best schools, and shrinks, so it’ll all be swell!? Do we think that by associating with certain circles, reading certain magazines, buying our clothes, food, furniture, cars at certain stores, that makes us: important, special, unique? Famous?
I was trying to make sense of it all. I am not bashing you if you are a fan of a certain actor, band, fashionista, please understand. Everyone here knows I think U2 is a fabulous band, but I don’t obsess about them, memorize trivial facts about them, and hang outside their homes hoping for a paparazzi moment. I live my life in pursuit of more eternal things. I’m not blowing my horn, here, but I’m also not blowing sunshine at you if you think that is any sort of life…a vicarious life through famous people or the person next door!? An exciting life on earth does not come to you through osmosis! It comes from being at the feet of Jesus, being led through this life by His Spirit, in hot pursuit of eternity.
If it were the way to live life Jesus would have modeled it, knowing it was important for His followers by leading by example. He would have bowed down to the leaders of the time, read every magazine to see “Who is Who in Jerusalem” and worn the latest cloak by Ralph Lipschitz. He would have pursued hanging around Pontius Pilate, Herod, all the Pharisees and teachers of the law. He would have expected, as the King of the Universe, oh, I don’t know, only 800-thread count sheets upon His arrival to certain towns, only green M&M’s on hand with seven bottles of Japanese lava water at each speaking engagement, His matzoh balls only pan seared and herb-crusted and for the paparazzi to only get shots of him from the waist up since He was a short Jewish guy.
Maybe people have a hard time following Jesus because His red carpet was palm fronds. He wasn’t tall, dark and handsome and didn’t do anything about the kink in his nose. He dined on salty fish and bread. He drank well water instead of bottled water. His pimped ride was a young ass that had cloaks on its back. His tiara did not hold its weight in gold, rather it held the weight of the world, our sins. Maybe, since you can’t see God’s majestic throne with your physical eyes, it’s easier for you to worship created things you see, or your own life? Or the beautiful people on the covers of magazines, or on TV, or on the silver screen…
I mean, I guess it was a little flashy to leave earth in the clouds, leaving hundreds behind gawking and waiting for Him to return, and then, of course, sending the angels to help the people snap out of it and get to work sharing the good news…but seriously, I think raising from the dead after You just endured torture and crucifixion, and have gone to hell to get the keys to life merits some clouds and angels, don’t you?
The truth is this: no matter how hard we try, Jesus just doesn’t fit into our ideal of what a hero or savior should look like. He didn’t wear a badge and didn’t look a thing like Hollywood, New York, London, Paris, (U2 song lyrics…FYI) nor did He live like it. He lived like a guy who was confident in who He was, who knew His purpose, and was not about to be wooed or swayed by any one’s opinion of Him, regardless of the treatments He received on earth, regardless of whether He understood all of His Father’s will. Well, One opinion mattered…and it was for His opinion that He lived and died.
I guarantee, with all of my being, which may not mean squat to you, but I guarantee that God’s word and a life led by His Spirit is a gazillion, trillion, billion times infinity, more interesting, exciting, and rewarding than the pursuit the ‘Jones” are on.
Whose opinion do you seek? All these things can bring you attention and recognition, but is it the right kind of attention? Seriously, what matters?! And then, live like that. Yes, we will all mess up, but God knows our hearts, since there is no such thing as a secret.