Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When Jesus Got Distracted

I grew up with the idea that Jesus was all about the cross. Somehow I got the impression that the events of Holy Week the only real priorities for him. It never really occurred to me to wonder what He'd been up to for the three years of his public ministry before that week, or even the thirty years of his life, for that matter. Seems like a long ramp-up process, especially for the Son of God.

Actually, if you read the Gospel accounts you begin to get the sense that Jesus got off-task quite a bit. He almost comes off as having a little bit of redemptive A.D.D: just when he's working up a good head of steam about our sins...HEY LOOK GUYS, A LEPER! And off He'd go, getting all caught up healing some disabled person or talking about giving a cup of cold water to some poor kid. Fortunately the Apostle Paul was able to cut through these distractions and lay things out decently and in good order in books like Romans and Galatians.

Unless...maybe Jesus wasn't distracted. Maybe He took three years to start rocking things with a quake whose epicenter was located by that empty tomb outside Jerusalem. Maybe He was actually demonstrating exactly what He was doing during His time on earth with us. Making all things new, wiping away every tear from our eyes, letting the dumb start scat-singing with pleasure and the lame start breaking out in some celebrative dance steps. Maybe we needed to see how "distracted" He could get so we didn't freeze-dry His gospel down to four spiritual laws through which we could calculate our salvation. In fact, the Apostle Paul himself did all his theologizing against a backdrop of all creation "groaning as in the pangs of childbirth" waiting for Christ's redemption to be completed.

You know, maybe we don't get distracted enough.

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