Look, I'm not even going to get into it with you. The best Jesus ever was the one from "Son of God." Hands down. I won't even discuss it. Yes, I know he had medium brown hair and he didn't look like he was from the Middle East, but there was something about the way he looked at people... with a sort of an affectionate amusement.
There was one scene where Jesus kept telling Peter to cast his net and Peter was like, "Dude - I've been fishing all morning. There are no fish."
Jesus was like, "Humor me. Whaddya got to lose?"
So Peter cast the net and he got so many fish he couldn't even get them into the boat. Peter was utterly shocked and amazed, as if Jesus had just pulled a quarter out of his ear. And Jesus just looked at him with this smile on his face, as if to say, "You are so adorable when you are being human."
As a human who loves Jesus and is attempting to obey his directive, "Come, follow me," I hope he does have a good sense of humor about my bungling efforts to do so.
And why do I bungle so much? After all, Jesus only asks me to do a couple things. Love your neighbor. Love God. Forgive everyone. Never judge. It's not a long list.
But of course loving our neighbor includes not flipping off the guy who cuts you off in traffic, and not gossiping about that weird guy three cubicles down. So in its granular sense, it gets a little more challenging. Because really everyone will say they are all for love. Who's against love? It's the stuff of angels and heaven and all that. It's just that what that looks like way down here among us isn't all that romantic. And we think we are expected to be naturally good at this and we think if we struggle with our sister who drives us up the wall every time we see her, then we are hopelessly flawed.
Part of our humanity is to be ashamed at how awful we can be at this following Jesus thing.
Maybe we think if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable about our experience of following The Way we will be exposed as phonies or failures. No one wants to talk about that with raw honesty. We talk about what we
be experiencing, or what
we were experiencing, not so much what we are
The longing, the frustration, the confusion of unanswered prayers, the shortcomings we can’t seem to overcome, the regrets that are stuck to the bottoms of our shoes, the hope. And the struggle that hope brings. The tension it creates. It can be agonizing.
I am moved by Jesus’ compassion, inspired by his power, touched by his surrender, in awe of his wisdom, and humbled by the truth that no matter what I do or how hard I try, since my goal is to imitate Jesus, I will never be able to live up to my own standards. That's no fun.
And then there’s the part where that’s OK, where the failing is the whole point. We fall and we fall and we fall.
Like when you learn to ice skate. It’s a given and no one expects to learn to skate without wiping out over and over again. We don't consider it a character flaw.
I think it would be cool to experience following Jesus with that expectation: To accept that I’m going to fall on my butt repeatedly, and then not consider each wipe-out to be some kind of disaster, but rather a natural expression of my humanity. And maybe it makes Jesus smile to know that at least I'm trying.
So let’s just strap a pillow to our collective arse and have at it, huh?
Let's give Jesus something to laugh about.
is a writer, speaker, and the co-author of the #1 Amazon bestselling novel,