There are stories about Jesus that we love to hear and to tell—stories of surprising compassion and radical love—and then there are those stories that don’t jibe with Jesus as we ordinarily imagine him. These stories present Jesus in a way that can be difficult for us to incorporate into the larger picture of Jesus that we have created, so we tend to skip over them and pretend they’re not really there (or dismiss them as the work of the errant pen of a gospel writer). But we might find, as we dwell with these stories, that it is good for us to be unsettled by Jesus, and that these challenging stories can sharpen our sense of who Jesus was and what it means to follow him.
Who Can Understand?
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Jesus explains to his disciples why he teaches in parables, and his explanation is far from satisfying. The fact that Jesus is difficult to understand—perhaps even intentionally so—may tell us just as much about ourselves as it does about him.
Who Can Follow?
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Jesus makes demands of his disciples so stringent and uncompromising that we can’t help but wonder if anyone can truly follow him. The reason his demand seems so unreasonable to us is that we struggle to put our loves in the proper order—but doing so is a prerequisite for discipleship.