My Jesus Is The Problem

It is just crazy how we can “know where we are in prophecy” but still cheat on each other. We can hardly begrudge those who stand in the maternity ward, raising their bewildered eyebrows at the sight of pregnant teens whose parents sang out loud amens when elders preached against condoms but were dumbfounded when the same elders fathered children with their babies. What of the young man so helpful at church but drinks till he blacks out later on? Of what relevance is their faith in their lives? What good is “pie in the sky by and by” when there is a chasm between belief and practice? Is faith any good today?
The problem is “my” Jesus. The Bible is replete with declarations of “Our God” and “Our Lord, Jesus Christ” but somewhere along the line, Jesus became too personal, as in personal property. My Jesus is absolutely fine as long as He does not become mine and not yours. A personal relationship with Jesus is indispensable but therein lies the problem with “my” Jesus: I cannot have a relationship with a magic charm. Eviscerating and reducing Jesus to a magic charm has changed, “in Jesus’ name,” to a Christianised “abracadabra” we attach to our prayers to render them undeniable.
This drive to slap a patent on Jesus and claim Him as mine and not yours robs the faith of its power source, the Risen Christ.
Without Jesus feeding the power of His resurrection into our lives, we are powerless to live full lives but we have decided to unplug our faith from Him in favour of some lifeless pocket sized caricature. Prayer, no longer a means of open communication with God is a magic wand to grant selfish individualistic longings disguised as faith. No wonder the church has become a joke, a masquerade of dressed up sinners oscillating between mumbling songs they don’t mean in the name of penance and blackmailing God with imaginary good deeds.
Jesus is alive and the power of His resurrection is offered to transform us into His likeness but we have stuffed that power in a box marked “to be opened at the Second Coming,” — have you noticed how we only talk about the Resurrection at funerals, Easter and in apologetics? Thus, the Resurrected Christ is exiled to the future, the past and the abstract leaving us to struggle in the present, clenching our legalistic teeth. We might as well bend bananas and put yolk in eggs or give up as so many have done.
Peter gave up too. Discouraged, he returned to what he knew: fishing. As he fished that night, I wonder if he remembered walking on that very water or how a simple whisper from Jesus to the howling wind had saved him from drowning. Did he remember the pigs bloated decomposing bodies after Jesus had cast demons out of two men on the lake’s shore? Whatever the case, Jesus hit Peter with deja vu, a reenactment of the miracle preceding His first call to Peter. Where he had been dead in discouragement and failure, the resurrected Jesus reanimated him, restoring Peter to His movement and bidding Him, “feed my sheep.”
Peter had changed, no longer head strong and boastful of his dedication and loyalty to “my” Jesus, he was humble and ready to serve our God and saviour, Jesus. What a difference being plugged into the real life Jesus makes! No longer preoccupied with finding ourselves in prophecy, we rest in the His wisdom, love and providence as revealed in prophecy. No longer trying to jump into heaven, we walk with Him, trusting Him to give the strength to exert painstaking effort to build characters that can thrive in heaven. Looking for benevolent community in His church and not admiration, we cast of our masks and enjoy the relief of authenticity, knowing that even when our faults are pointed out, we are amongst friends. All this, and more, is ours so long as we don’t take comfort in our pocket sized caricatures but choose to rest in the knowledge that we are His.
photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) 95M Views Israel-05451 – Galilee Boat via photopin (license)

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