What would happen if a scroll were discovered that shed a new light on the nuances in the words that Jesus spoke?
What if instead of calling the religious leaders, “white washed sepulchers” we learn that he was really saying, “You’re full of shit?”
How would King James handle that one? “For verily, I say unto thee, thou art full of faeces!”
Why is this crazy thought so offensive? I think it is because we’ve substituted a code of behavior for life transformed by his grace. Because when you become a Christian, you’ve got to clean up your act, right? (Which means no smoking, swearing, chewing or associating with those that do.) And the first steps toward performance based Christianity are taken.
Truth is, Jesus was VERY offensive. He was a thorn in the flesh of the religious leaders nor did he mince words with them. And I’m sorry, but Jesus did not speak the Queen’s English either; he spoke in the common language of the common man. He spoke so the uneducated and the simple could understand.
Somehow it’s much easier for me to think of the religious as those wearing tall pointy hats, swinging incense and chanting Latin.
No. I need only look in the mirror to catch a glimpse of religion, try as I may to rid myself of it. I find it anytime I sniff my disapproval at someone’s behavior. I am confronted with it anytime I am offended because, after all, the Word of God says…...
And I know my tendencies well enough to know that if I lived in that earlier time, I would likely gasp loudest at Jesus’ heresy. After all,we all know a good Christian would never swear.
Why is it that we gasp at outward behaviors and not at our own shortcomings and our need for grace? You know the stuff…the stuff we work so hard at keeping hidden so we look good?
Except for the love that transform me and frees me from the tyranny of Christian self improvement…I will remain on the treadmill judging others and remaining offended. And also being judged and offensive myself.
Would Jesus cuss? I don’t think he ever gave thought to his behaviors…his relationship with his Father defined who he was. Living inside that love he remained holy; it wasn’t his committment to clean living. But still- his extended invitation to enter into that same relationship with God sans condition was deeply offensive to the law keeper in us all.
Living loved is the only thing that will make for the real changes. Less gasping… more acceptance. Less judgment and more love.
If anyone tries to tell you else wise, they’re full of….religion.