Posted by: Postordinandy | July 4, 2009

A gloriously mundane Jesus?

During one of our discussions about the book Exiles, we thought about the impressions we had of Jesus, both from a re-reading of the Gospel accounts and some of the thoughts that the book itself threw into the mix.

One of the things that had struck a few of us was just how ‘ordinary’ Jesus was, how human. This is not to challenge His divinity – church leaders and theologians of the past have spent much time wrestling with the ‘fully human, fully divine’ mix – and this blog will not examine this here.

Mike Frost notes how it is easy for us to think about Jesus as if he was one of the aliens in the Cocoon series of films.

cocoonIf you haven’t seen them, the aliens look just like you and me – until, that is, they begin to remove their outer skin to reveal themselves to actually be beings of almost blinding light. There is a great scene in the first film where one of the aliens adjusts his ‘face’, and momentarily we see a glimpse of the bright light – hidden beneath a somewhat mundane exterior.

Jesus was ordinary in so many ways. He was ‘in the world’ so much that the religious leaders of his day described him as “a glutton and a drunkard” [Luke 7:34], so offended were they by the people he hung around with and the tables he ate at. He was interested in apparently mundane parts of human existence, and often acted in these very areas. He did take risks though, appropriate ones. He spoke about difficult things, made enemies of many in the establishment, befriended those who were otherwise friendless, often made it harder to follow him than we would think.

There is a challenge here for those of us who believe that Jesus is in some way ‘within us’ who have accepted Him as Lord over our lives. We cannot peel back our eyes in order to blind people with God’s light; but we can, perhaps, live lives of glorious mundaneness that draw others through us to the source of life itself.

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