What You’ve Missed…
* Jesus walks on water, which is pretty impressive. Though not as impressive as walkin’ on sunshine.
* Jesus creates the world’s first free and instant buffet when He feeds thousands of hungry people, using only a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, and everyone eats as much as they want. Twice. I think it’s official. Jesus loves buffets.
Daily Reading: John 6, Mark 7, Matthew 15
I’m going to just jump right in and talk about zombies and vampires. They’re everywhere these days. Zombies have taken over the world of fiction, and even local news stories in Florida, and vampires have taken over the romantic dreams of teenage girls everywhere. (Vampires that are ridiculously handsome AND they sparkle? It’s like Brad Pitt and My Little Pony had a baby, and now we all have to suffer the unending squeals of teen girls everywhere.)
But this is nothing new. The idea of zombies and vampires can be traced all the way back to the Bible. In fact, Jesus himself talks about both.
“I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man (Jesus) and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” John 6:53-55
Whaaaaaat? Correct me if I’m wrong, but what I get from this is Jesus tells people they have to eat His flesh and drink His blood to gain eternal life. Did I miss something because that sounds all kinds of jacked up. Eating flesh? Drinking blood? That sounds…really weird, really creepy and…cultish.
Jesus, dude, couldn’t you have just stuck with, “Love your neighbor,” or “Peace in the Middle East,” or even a little bit of Bill and Ted wisdom like, “Be excellent to each other?” Why do you have to freak people out, talking about how your followers have to eat your body, and drink your blood? No one wants to hear that.
In fact, after He said this, a lot of His followers turned away. Probably because they weren’t interested in eating other people. This isn’t the Jesus I heard about in Sunday school. I heard about “nice Jesus”, not “B Horror movie Jesus.”
Speaking of which, many of you reading may be Christians and might not find this weird, because you believe in the act of communion, which is how Christians take part in eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood today. It may seem like no big deal. I think that’s because we’ve heard it so much, it no longer has any impact on us.
But think about it. The central figure in your spiritual beliefs, the one you base your lifestyle on, told people they would have to eat His body and drink His blood in order to gain eternal life. Do you actually believe that? If there was a cult that drank the blood of their leader, would you think that was normal? Or would you think they were totally whacked out?
Well I have news for you. That’s exactly what we’re doing as Christians. We’re drinking the blood of our leader, to gain eternal life. That’s the whole myth behind vampires! (It’s just a shame we don’t get super-speed and super-strength as by-products. We also don’t become overly dramatic horrible actors either, so that’s pretty good.)
And don’t forget, we also have stuff in common with flesh-eating zombies. Though, we may not be mindless, I know of a few Christians who drool as much as any good zombie would.
So what’s my point? I think we, as Christians, need to have some perspective of why non-Christians think we might be a little weird. I think we need to be mindful that when we use expressions like, “The blood of the Lamb,” or “Our sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus,” people may be totally weirded out. (Wow, we really do talk about blood a lot don’t we? Yeah…that’s NOT totally creepy at all.)
Okay, okay…so it’s not really that intense. Christians don’t actually drink blood. We drink wine (or grape juice) as a symbol of Jesus’ blood. And we don’t actually eat flesh, but rather bread (or fancy Catholic wafers) as a symbol for flesh. But still…when you really think about it, it’s pretty crazy that we do it at all.
Geez, after all this eating, drinking and horror movie talk, I’m ready for some Jimmy Johns and a Walking Dead Marathon.
Christianity is awesome.
Great blog Mac. Great blog.
Thanks Brian! Great to hear from you!
A great read Mac. A new perspective in understanding how non-christians think
Glad you enjoyed it Ezekiel! Thanks for commenting!
I continue to enjoy your perspective and your phrasing, Mac! Of course, I suspect that the miracles were no more miraculous than those attributed to 20th century Indian yogis… maybe a bit of sleight-of-hand, but overwhelmingly wishful thinking and effusive reporting by devoted followers.
Feeding 5,000 – I would guess that half the families who came out to hear him preach brought food with them, and half didn’t. Jesus shared the little bit that he and his roadies with them, and got everyone else to share too… and that sharing, that uniting of 5,000 into a single family, was the miracle. And so on.
Keep going! (I know there are dragons coming up…)
Great to hear from you Robin. I know we disagree on whether the miracles were real, accurate, etc…but I like your idea that uniting those people in that moment was miracle in itself.
I’ve thought about your question on God “putting people into leadership” whether they’re Christian or not. I don’t have any other references from the Old Testament that come to mind, other than the one mentioned in the blog about the king going crazy and living in the wilderness.
But I’ve been wondering if God wanted Obama in the White House…and honestly Robin, here’s where I’ve landed:
I believe that God’s will exists fully. I also believe God has given man free will, and that our ability to exercise free will outside of God’s will also exists fully. I have come to think of these two as mutually exclusive, yet I believe the incredible thing is they both exist, even though logic says they both can’t exist simultaneously. I believe they do, no matter how impossible it seems.
So…maybe it was God’s will to have Obama as president. Maybe not. Maybe He allows us more freedom than some people think and it was the free will of man that put Obama in office.
On top of everything, I do think God blesses things, and so I have to believe that as Christians pray for our country, and pray for Obama, that God hears those prayers and somehow has His hand in the matter of helping to guide our country, or leadership.
[Let me clarify that the Christians I know who pray for Obama, are not praying for an agenda to happen. They literally pray that Obama (and any other president/leader) would leader with wisdom, integrity, compassion, etc. They believe they don’t need a “conservative Christian candidate” because God is much, much bigger than that, and works through all things, and all people, believers or not.]
So…that might not be what you were looking for in your prompt, but that’s where I find myself as I think about it.