It’s hard to believe in Jesus! To believe in Jesus fully, to believe in Jesus as more than a personal Savior, to believe in Jesus without qualifications, to believe in Jesus as God’s way to run the world, to believe in Jesus and his Sermon on the Mount, to believe in Jesus as the unimagined solution for a world gone wrong and not as merely chaplain or cheerleader for our favorite version of the status quo is very hard to do.
Brian Zahnd, A Farewell to Mars
It’s said that “Jesus is perfect theology.” Amen. That is a loaded statement and there’s a lot to unpack in that one short sentence. But if we believe that Jesus is the exact image of God then we should expect to see Heaven in our lives and on earth.
Near or Far, Flexible or Rigid
Jesus is easy to get along with when you’re a sinner. That’s why He was attractive to the outsiders of His day. Jesus doesn’t play well with religious mindsets and systems. That’s part of the reason He clashed with the religious people of His day.
Yes, He created the religious system. But He never meant the system to become rigid. He meant for the system to point to the Savior. The system was a tool, not the end in itself.
That’s why Zahnd says that following Jesus is hard. It’s hard because as much as we kick against it and deny it, we are religious.
We like our pet systems. We’ve taken the time to grow them. We’ve invested in them. We have skin in the religious game.
They keep us safe.
They keep us busy.
They keep us stationary.
None of the Above
Following Jesus is none of those things. He’s not safe in the sense of allowing us to stay in our comfort zones. He’s not trying to keep us busy, He calls us to come away and rest. He’s not about us staying stationary, His call is “Come and see.”
The very call of Christ is an invitation into a mystery, not a formally laid out plan. His call is an adventure of discovery, not a study of boring information. His call is hard, but not hard in the sense of striving. The call is hard in the sense of to follow Christ you must leave some things behind.
In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us.
Romans: 8:18. Phillips
Join the journey.
Embrace the adventure.
Explore the mystery.