Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Puppy love for Jesus

I'm struck by how some pacifists identify with Jesus. It's like those "Jesus is my boyfriend" worship songs that normal men find repellant. As if true Christian piety is about falling in love with Jesus. 

In that regard it's interesting to contemplate just what it would it be like to hang out with Jesus. Be one of the twelve disciples. Was he approachable? 

Imagine Jesus as an American teenager c. 1950-2015. Suppose he attended public school. Would he join the football team, or wresting team (or Lacrosse or ice hockey)? Would he have that natural inclination for male camaraderie? Would he go surfing with his homiez? 

Would he hang out with friends to humor them? Be a good sport? Play long with their interests? Or would he get something out of it? 

In the Gospels, Jesus can be passionate and compassionate. But he can also be distant. Emotionally detached. 

He's constantly aware of things the disciples are not. And he always stands apart from them. His primary relationship isn't with the disciples, or his mother and stepbrothers, but with the Father. That's the center of gravity. That's the primary emotional bond. That's what he defaults to when he's not engaging other people. 

There's a sense in which he is out of his element here. He will never fit in. He understanding is unique. His vocation is unique. 

It's like SF stories about alien saviors. The alien savior didn't come here to make friends or put down roots. Didn't come here to start a family. Although he may end up making some human friends, that's temporary. Those are not long-term relationships.

The alien savior was sent here from Alpha Centuri to save the human race. Our species is at a fork in the road. One turn leads to extinction. If we can get through this final crisis, we will survive and thrive. 

The alien savior is here on a mission. When complete, he will leave us behind and return to Alpha Centuri. That's home. 

Of course, that's a just an analogy. But there's a sense in which Jesus is psychologically isolated. The ultimate outsider. One of a kind. 

Yes, he's truly human. Yet humanity in combination with divinity makes him a class apart. In that respect he is not one of us. Especially in John's Gospel, there's the longing to go home. Return to the Father.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe this is what Piper is tapping into in the paradigm you described in the other post. Obviously we can't "be like Jesus" in the sense of His utter uniqueness, but we are called to emulate Him.

    I'm not defending Piper's idiosyncratic ideas, but reading this got me thinking about the other post.