Sunday, May 23, 2010

Good Jesus? Nasty Jesus?

The current issue of The New Yorker (May 24, 2010, page 74) has an article, What Did Jesus Do? The article, using the Gospel of Mark (the earliest one) and a number of recent books about Jesus traces the age old questions of, "Just who is Jesus?"


Over the years, we have shifted around. Was Jesus the "Nice Jesus?" That is, the one who said and did nice things. Or was he the "Nasty Jesus?" The one who told of judgment and easily got angry and impatient with his friends. Most of us pick a Jesus that suits our needs.


I like the one that says he was both at the same time. Fully God and Fully Human. Don't ask me "How?" I am an Episcopalian. We can live in tension. If Jesus is just nice, I get a great pal who not only loves me but overlooks my sins. So, he really isn't in a position to do much about it other than be an example. I'm not much good at saving (healing) myself. Yet, I also get a real human, not an airbrushed Savior. If Jesus is just nasty, I get all the power of God but loose some human contact and companionship. I mean, who am I next to the Great Judge? I guess I am scared as well.


I waffle between the two. And that may be okay. I am comforted by the fact that God cares on a very personal basis while, at the same time, puts all his assets to bear on both my sin and my weakness. I can live with that.

No comments:

Post a Comment