Oh, I know what you’re thinking: “Evangelicals love Jesus!” Yes, of course. All of Jesus’ followers love him.
But, sometimes, when you’re reading through Scripture, don’t you wish he did something or said something a little differently… a little more plainly… a little more obvious… a little more “Jesus-like”?
But He is unboxable at the same time. His self-presentation does not come in one pre-packaged form, and that is just what we evangelical Christians can’t stand about the Lord. We like it all cut-and-dry, methodical, systematic. We prefer a neatly defined approach to God and a bullet-pointed salvation: Follow these steps and you’re in. Then check these boxes everyday to make sure you stay in, or (for those with more Calvinistic tastes) to constantly re-verify that you were actually in to begin with. We may not care to admit it, but that is how we often view things.
What I love about the Lord Jesus is that He does not fit into the molds of men, even the Christian molds which we’ve been told Christ Himself invented. He is untameable by any of our standards. One moment He’s telling me that the person who is not with us is against us, but then just as I’m about to rise up and denounce my brother’s heresy, he comes back at me with “but he that is not against us is for us.”
Yes. Good stuff, Josh. And, of course, there’s a difference between following Jesus and following our tamed, boxed, predictable version of “Jesus.”
Or, as C.S. Lewis wrote (about Aslan), “He’s not a tame lion, but he’s good.”
No, Jesus is not a tame Savior or Lord, but he’s good. He may not do what we expect (and often he doesn’t), but we can trust him.
But, that “Jesus” who is predictable and tame… don’t trust that guy.