Our Director, Paul, is very passionate about reading, and has recently encouraged everyone on staff here to read more. Personally, I love to read and the challenge to read just offered further incentive to keep doing what I have been doing. I’m a creative type, and I really enjoy multiple projects in the office and I usually read more than one book at a time. This last slew of books I just finished included Tribes by Seth Godin, Love Does by Bob Goff, and Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldrege. I highly recommend all of them, but I want to talk about the last two.
Beautiful Outlaw is a book that talks about the personality of Jesus, after all he did come to earth a man. This book really talks about some of the personality characteristics that are rarely if ever talked about like his sense of humor and his playfulness. Jesus, while still being God, was still a person, and he cracked jokes and had fun with his friends like you and I do.
Well that’s cool, but why are you talking about that? I think I grew up thinking of Jesus as mostly God and occasionally human, meaning I thought of Jesus as a pretty stern faced guy who was really serious and religious. He called people out, he turned over the tables, and he cried one time in John. I missed a lot.
A.W. Tozer says that the most important thought we could have is what we think about God. Jesus is God; he is Emanuel, God with us. He came to earth to show us God. He says that if we know him we know the Father. If we view Jesus as a serious, boring, stern, really religious person, then the Christians that follow him will be serious, boring, stern, and really religious. That leads to serious, boring, stern, and really religious churches, and that hurts our witness to the world. I don’t think very many people would look at that and say, “Wow I really want to be part of that.”
Let’s bring Bob Goff into the picture. He’s by any standard an average guy, and yet he leads an absolutely incredible life filled with whimsy and adventure. You seriously have to read Love Does, because his stories seem almost unreal or too good to be true. I look at his life and think wow I want to have his life, or at least live one close to it. Bob says yes to anything and almost everything. Very rarely does he say no. Bob lives a life reflective of how he views Jesus.
Jesus first came to save. He did so by living a perfect life as a human and taking the punishment we deserved. Jesus was crazy intentional and relational. Jesus invited people to say yes and follow him.
My perspective on who Jesus is needs to change. I’ve been missing out, and I’m so excited to continue walking with the Lord with a better understanding of him.