Looking for Jesus

Three days before Christmas and everyone is stuck. Not everyone, but those of us who want to get the perfect gift and yet have no idea who the person really is.

So you guess. Maybe they will like this. Maybe they are interested in that.

I asked John.

“You get to know them,” he said.  “You listen to them. You take time to think about who they are rather than who you want them to be.”

“But that takes time,” I said. “And we only have three days to figure this out. What’s the harm in guessing?”

“Depending on the person, there is much harm possible,” he said. “A few months before Jesus’ death, people were arriving at conclusions about who he was. And when you read through the story, it’s hilarious. Just listen to what people were saying:

  • He is a good man.
  • He deceives the people.
  • How did he get such learning?
  • You are demon possessed.
  • Have the authorities decided he’s the messiah
  • We know where he’s from. He couldn’t be the messiah.
  • When the messiah comes, could he do any more than this man?
  • Will he go to visit the émigré Jews?
  • Will he teach the Greeks?
  • This is the prophet.
  • This is the messiah.
  • We can’t arrest him, he speaks truth.”

I started laughing at the list. “That gives me theological whiplash,” I said. “That’s amazing. What did Jesus say?”

“That gives me theological whiplash,” I said. “What did Jesus say?”

“Throughout that time, he was simply saying who he was. But because they were listening to him a phrase at a time and not a paragraph at a time, they were getting distracted, getting stuck.”

“I’m guessing that each one of those descriptions of Jesus could take you to a different way of living,” I said.

John nodded. “Just like deciding what to buy someone, you need to listen to their heart rather than just yours.”


From Saint John of the Mall.

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