Isn’t it interesting how we so often want to keep Jesus to ourselves? It’s clearly been a problem since the beginning.
What do you mean, you ask. We talk about evangelism a lot, about telling others about Jesus, about telling the world what belief in him means.
Yes, that is true, but the Jesus we tell others about has to be the one who fits exactly within our understanding — in other words we have to keep him just like we want. We can’t let him go to others to relate to them in whatever way he needs to.
“And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them.” (Luke 4:42b)
I suggest that It is that unwillingness to let Jesus go, to free Jesus from our own confines, our own understandings, that leads to much of today’s failings of Christianity.
“But [Jesus] said to them, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.’ So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.” (Luke 4:43-44)
Perhaps if we understood that we need to let Jesus go and spread the good news of grace, of acceptance, of healing, of getting rid of demons, perhaps if more folks understood that, the aura of hypocrisy that surrounds Christians in the minds of much of society.
Grace and peace.