Why The Chosen…and you… don’t really know Jesus like you think you do – John 7:1-52, Preview

How well do you know Jesus?  Pretty well?  Maybe you would say that you know Jesus, but you also admit that you could certainly know him better.  I suspect most Christians would say something like that.

I wonder, though, if we met Jesus if he might shock us.  I wonder if our conception of Jesus is wrong in at least some ways.  What I’m getting at is the feeling many people experience when they watch a dramatic presentation of Jesus, such as The Chosen TV series.  Often our preconceived ideas about Jesus, what he would say, the way he would respond, are different from what we seen on screen.

That difference between our perceptions and the dramatic presentation can be unsettling.  We can think, “Can that be right?  I’ve always thought of him differently.”  That dissonance is important to think about, especially when our perception of Jesus conflicts with a fictional presentation of Jesus.  Notice that both our perception and the fictional presentation are based in biblical truth.  Both we and the writers, directors and actors in The Chosen are making an interpretation about what Jesus might have been like.

But we don’t actually know.  We must admit that what we know of Jesus is filled with our perception, interpretation, and filtered through our personality, experience and opinion.  That means if we met the real Jesus, we might be shocked.  It seems to me, therefore, that it is important that we take a position of humility as we think about our ability to know Jesus.  I’m not saying that we can’t know him.  We can truly and deeply know him because he has revealed himself, primarily through the pages of the Gospels, and because he has given us his Spirit. 

But we need to hold our ability to know him with what has been called Comic Theology.  Comic Theology says that we humans, in our attempt to know God, should be able to laugh at ourselves and our attempts to know God. In other words, be willing to be surprised, to be shocked, to be confronted with Jesus in new and different ways.

I’m saying this because some people in Jesus’ day had a very hard time seeing Jesus for who he really was.  Take a look at John chapter 7, verses 1-52, the passage we’ll be studying next week.  Those people insisted their Messiah Box was the only right one, but when the Messiah actually showed up, he didn’t fit nicely into that box.  Because Jesus was different from their conception of who or what the Messiah should be, instead of breaking their box and embracing Jesus, some people kept the box and said, “Jesus cannot be the Messiah.” 

Are we so different?  Though we say, “I believe Jesus is the Messiah,” have we created a box of understanding Jesus, to the point that we are missing out on who he really is?  I think it is very possible.  As we’ll learn in John 7, Jesus cannot be contained by the boxes we create in our feeble attempts to know him.  So let’s destroy the box. 

Read the passage ahead of time, and then we’ll discuss it on the blog next week. 

Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

Published by joelkime

I love my wife, Michelle, and our four kids and two daughters-in-law. I serve at Faith Church and love our church family. I teach a course online from time to time, and in my free time I love to read and exercise, especially running,

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