Thinking a little about Jesus with Rich Dixon


Last Thursday, Jon’s story reminded me how easily I project my preferences onto Jesus.

It’s kind of amazing how frequently Jesus seems to agree with me. No matter the disagreement or controversy, He always appears to take my side. [end of sarcasm]

When I look back, it’s clear how my initial four-decades-ago ideas about Jesus were mostly shaped by personal and cultural notions of what’s true/right/good. I basically highlighted the pieces that fit, and sort of ignored the rest.

I’m grateful for His grace and patience as we’ve traveled and talked. I picture Him smiling and shaking His head as I get it wrong yet again…and then gently pointing me a bit closer to the right direction. He consistently shows me He doesn’t fit within my boundaries.

As Jon said, Jesus isn’t trying to make us mad. He wants us to be happy and at peace, but He’s unwilling to compromise the kingdom to achieve temporary contentment.

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Jesus, I think, will always make us a bit uncomfortable if we take Him seriously.

If I never find myself squirming a bit when I hear His words, if I’m always certain and self-confident – perhaps I’m not following Him. Maybe I’ve created a customized tour guide to show me the sights and carry my gear.

If we pay attention, Jesus will surprise us. He and His message tend to pop up in unexpected places and circumstances. The key, of course, is the “pay attention” part.

Just as I see Him in so many unanticipated situations – I can’t imagine how many times I miss Him because I’m busy being certain I know what’s going on.

For me, it’s about keeping an open mind, remembering I’ll understand one day, but not yet.

Thinking of that day makes me smile. You?