Not Like the Gods You Already Know

[The early Christians] believed that it was only when you looked hard at Jesus that you understand what the true God is like.

That's why the stories about Jesus--the four Gospels or good-news books--are quite complicated. They show Jesus not parachuting down from a great height to dispense solutions to all problems or zapping everything into shape like some kind of Superman, but living in the mess and muddle of a very difficult part of the world at an especially difficult moment in its history and absorbing the pain and the shame of it all within his own life, within his own body. The Gospels are challenging. The don't wear their theology on their sleeves. They ask us to come into the world of the story and find out what it's like to live there. Answer: Not very comfortable. But massively transforming if you let the story wash over you.

So let's go back to the first century. The first followers of Jesus (Paul and many others) went out into the wider world with what they insisted was good news: There is a God, but he's not like the gods you know already. He's like--well, he's like Jesus.

--N.T. Wright, from Simply Good News

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply