Seeing Jesus

From Pastor Todd’s Weekly Email . . . 

Several years ago a short film was submitted to a film festival. It was titled, White American Jesus. A friend of mine helped sponsor the festival and as a result I saw the short film. The parody explores the way we create Jesus in our image – or God for that matter. Some would surely find the film a bit disturbing. I did. But, likely for different reasons. Rather than being disturbed by the imagery of Jesus agreeing with television preachers who tout giving a seed gift in order to get a ten-fold return, I was disturbed by the accurate portrayal of how we squeeze Jesus into our personal stories leaving no room for transformation. After all, if we make of Jesus what we want, then what is there to transform?

Our texts this week include a passage from Jeremiah. I am wondering what it would look like to tie the expectations of a new covenant where God would be the teacher rather than people teaching each other our own personal versions of Jesus. Lay the Jeremiah passage next to the Gospel of John passage and it may communicate that God intends to teach us in the life and ways of Jesus. If that is how we may take the Jeremiah passage, then we must make much of the life of Jesus – not just his death. If new covenant people are to show anyone Jesus, it must be the Jesus we witness in the Scriptures.

This is what the Gentiles ask in the Gospel passage, “Sirs we would see Jesus.” Or, as some relay it, “Show us Jesus.” We cannot offer a substitute put through the grinder of what we can tolerate of Jesus. We cannot show others Jesus when we ourselves resist his Way.

Before others see Jesus, we may need to see him as he is, where he is, in order to fashion our lives in his Way.

 

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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