The above question has been dominating my thoughts recently. Within that reflection I have come to the conclusion that we don’t fully ‘get’ Christ and do Him justice in the church. Often the dominant image of Christ is ‘gentle Jesus, meek and mild’, but a simple reading of the gospels renders this statement inadequate in isolation. Christ was gentle, meek and mild but we also fiery, direct and heavy-handed.
The Scripture I’ve been looking at in some depth is John 13 where Jesus washes the disciples feet. The interpretation that is drawn from that passage is one of servant leadership, Christ’s example and our call. I want to also suggest that out of that passage comes an interpretation of rebellion, Christ’s example and our call. In the simple act of wearing the towel, grabbing the water and washing feet Jesus challenged social structure, hierarchy and injustice. We see in the Scripture itself the shock of the disciples expressed through Peter, there is no way Jesus should of been wearing what He was wearing or doing what he was doing. We can’t grasp the significance of Jesus’ action in our modern context. Jesus was a true rebel, a radical in His time, and the call at the end of the Scripture is to do likewise. Jesus stood against and challenged everything He came across that didn’t match up with the standards of Gods kingdom … He was a rebel to the world, a resident in heaven.
The challenge is to consider what an equivalent act would look like today. How are we maintaining a distinct character and lifestyle? How are we living by the standards of heaven and not the world? How are we serving Christ in a way that is making those around us stand up and take note?
I wonder if our narrow view of Christ and often our watered down application of our calling is what is rendering Christianity irrelevant to the masses? I wonder if Church is preventing folk from meeting the full and magnificent Christ? I know that the Christ that I love and serve has the power to change lives and is as relevant today as He was all those years ago. As we come into Christmas we would do well to think about what Christ people are seeing in our churches. Are you being a rebel for Jesus?