Jesus is profound. So many times as I read through the Gospels, I hear Jesus taking names and kicking hineys. His words tend to leave a wake of exposed people, no longer able to hide behind put-together exteriors. There’s no tricking him. With every word he says, he’s taking care of deep soul business. But, what I like about him is that he’s not trying to kick hiney. He’s loving God and loving others with each word. He’s not trying to look cool. He’s not trying to put people into their place. He’s not emergent. He’s not traditional or conservative. He’s just Truth. We try to make his words fit into our movements and our causes.
Maybe we should think about what it looks like to fit into his movements and his causes. Maybe his words were meant to kick our hiney, not the hineys of everyone surrounding us. When I read the Gospels, I tend to put myself on the side of Jesus, like I’m behind him, yelling, “Yeah, Jesus. Give it to them!” But, I’m pretty sure Jesus might picture me as the one he’s talking to.
The things Jesus says-- deny yourself, take up your cross, follow me-- aren't self-aggrandizing demands made by Captain Tyranny. This is Jesus letting us in on a secret-- if you don't get over yourself, you can't know real life.
Far from a rule-giver, I'm dealing with a God who speaks to reveal reality. I would do well to pay attention-- I want to know what's real, even if it hurts... I want to live in reality even if it shatters the false securities I hold closest to my heart.
I want my hiney kicked by a God who likes me enough to do it. I want to exchange the papier-mache construct in which I'm comfortable for the threatening and freeing words of God.