Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
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Jesus moved about within Galilee…Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill? …Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
We know where He is from. How funny! They thought they had figured Jesus out. We need to take note of this. Be careful when passing judgment on others. We may very well find ourselves on the wrong side of salvation history.
“We know where He is from.” Sure you do. He’s from Nazareth, right? Not exactly. He’s the son of Joseph, the carpenter (cf. Mt 13:55), correct? Not quite.
Hey, I can perfectly understand getting this part wrong; after all, it’s not every day that someone is born from a virgin. But this is not the point of the argument. The point is: we can think we have figured someone out and be entirely wrong, even when it deals with the basic facts.
To this day, people are still trying to figure out who Jesus is. Recently, I heard Muslims are now claiming Jesus as one of their own. Did you know that Jesus is Muslim? Don’t be scandalized, please. For years and years and years, socialists and communists claimed Him to be one of their very own! Now, even environmentalists are convinced that Christ was an environmentalist!
I find it not only shocking how very little people know of Jesus, but how they believe they have figured him out!
Jesus, the Son of God. No one figured Him out. No one. Not even His closest followers, His Apostles. It may have taken the Lord only three years to pour His heart and mind out; but today, nearly two thousand years later, we, His disciples, are still analyzing every word He uttered and every step He took. Have we come closer to knowing the Son of God? Yes. Absolutely. Have we come closer to imitating Him? Yes. Many have. But we still have so much more to learn through Him, with Him and in Him.
The God of the twist. Although He lived a very confusing life, the Lord was never confused. He knew exactly what He was doing and why He was doing it and this confused the hell out of everyone, including His Apostles; who, by the way, needed a bit of hell to be removed from their lives (cf. Mt. 16:23).
Jesus lived a very dramatic life because He lived it with a twist. For example: The greatest of all shall be the servant of all. Do you get it? Most people don’t. The people behind Fortune Magazine do.
Christ lived life with a twist. In other words, He never lived up to anyone’s expectations. When insulted, He did not insult. When crucified, He forgave. No one was ever able to predict His next move. He continually surprised His critics and His followers. He continually turned their world upside down (that is, right side up). He spoke like no other. He lived and died like no other. He loved like no other.
His love was totally confusing: He dined with tax collectors, but never owned a penny. He forgave sinners, but never gave into sin. He touched lepers, but never became unclean. The Pharisees, scribes, chief priests, elders and Romans thought they could get rid of Him forever. But instead, He got rid of them forever.
Living life with a twist. What are Christians? For today, the answer is a simple one: We are mere humans with a twist of Jesus in our lives. We are water with a twist of lemon in it. We give life a bit of a twist. “You are the salt of the earth” (Mt. 5:13).
Christians take what is “ordinary” and make it exciting and special.
Just a few days ago I went to Tom Thumb to buy some groceries. [Apparently, Tom Thumb is the place were Jesus wants me to live out my most memorable Lenten experiences.] As I waited in the checkout lane, I noticed an elderly oriental woman with a dozen bananas in front of me. At first, she wanted me to go ahead of her. I told her I could wait. In our little exchange, it became clear to me (and the checker) that she did not understand a word of English. When the checker pointed to the screen and her total cost ($4.28), she hesitated for a long time, like two awkward minutes. At first I thought she was confused, but when she pulled out a small plastic bag full of pennies from her front pocket and reluctantly gave it to the teller, I realized she felt embarrassed and ashamed. It was at that moment I stepped in and told the teller to let her go and that I would pay for her bananas. I don’t think she understood what happened or why her little plastic bag full of change was being returned to her. But in the end, she left the store with her bananas. As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw her sitting on a sidewalk enjoying a banana.
A Christian must constantly seek ways to live their day, their work, their marriage, their family, their life with a twist…a twist of Christ.
“It’s no longer I who live in me, but Christ who lives in me” (cf. Gal. 2:20)
Now that’s a twist! (0)