What You’ve Missed…
* Jesus gets baptized, gets disciples, and gets the whole Christian party under way (though, no booze of course.)
* Jesus changes up that whole “no booze” idea when he kicks a local party into overdrive, turning water into wine, providing free drinks, and a good time (probably too good of a time) for everyone!
* Jesus shows He doesn’t just party, and gets down to business healing tons of sick people, casting out tons of demons and raising people from the dead. No big deal.
* Local Jewish scholars start to get pissed at how awesome people think Jesus is, and decide the most rational course of action is to plan how to kill Him.
Daily Reading: Matthew 9-10, Mark 6
Making my way through the New Testament, which I am more familiar with than the Old Testament, I continue to find myself surprised at how crazy a lot of it is. For instance…I always thought of Jesus as a “nice guy”. I thought of Him as calm, rational, and someone who taught about good morals and helped people. He probably spent time playing with abandoned puppies and gave candy to children, always making sure to remind them to brush their teeth. Sounds like a nice guy right?
Well, I’m not so sure. At one point while He’s preparing the disciples to go out and preach, He says some pretty funky stuff for a nice guy.
“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.” Matthew 10:37
And right before that, He makes it pretty clear that He’s not here to be a nice guy.
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household.” Matthew 10:35-36
Dang. Jesus don’t play! He’s making it pretty clear that He considers a relationship with Him far more important than any other relationship a person can have. When combined with the fact that He said He came to bring a sword, that sweet little nice guy image doesn’t hold up. He’s more like Conan the Barbarian who’s shown up to get shit done.
Jesus isn’t simply trying to sound like a tough guy here. The man lives by His own philosophy. Later in Matthew, Jesus puts some of this crazy thinking into practice.
“As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, His mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.’ Jesus asked, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ Then he pointed to His disciples and said, ‘These are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!’” Matthew 12:46-50
Dude…Jesus is rude! Can you imagine if George W. Bush was speaking to a crowd, and someone came up, telling him that Sweet Barbara and Ol’ George Sr., want to talk to him, and he responded by saying, “I don’t know them. I’m the Decider and I’ve decided the people listening to me are my only family.” The media would flip out. His parents would flip out. That’d be a really horrible way to treat his family. And that’s exactly what Jesus does here! His mission is more important to Him than His own mother.
That is not how a nice guy acts. Nice guys love their moms. (Some of them even live with their moms.) Nice guys give their families backstage passes and VIP treatment. Not Jesus. Dude gives his family the cold shoulder without a second thought.
I’m starting to think Jesus might have more in common with Klingons than Mother Theresa.