(This is a re-print of an article I wrote ten years ago entitled "Honest Look at Jesus.")
This is a blog about "church," so-to-speak, but maybe we miss the mark a bit if we don't keep putting the focus back on the One who precedes the church and everything else. The church is, no doubt, meant to be a much more radical movement than we have understood it to be. How much more important is it for us to see that Jesus, the head of the church, is a far more radical man/God than we can even begin to understand. He is the One we, His church, are designed to imitate. Perhaps if we get Jesus right, and our imitation of Him in keeping with who He is, we will naturally get church right.
Jesus is so... much... more than we can begin to define in a few words, or thoughts, or even a lifetime of both.
He is uncontainable, unpredictable, unorthodox, and unconventional. As soon as someone would try to put Him in a box, He would break the mold. If you thought He was meek, He would pick up a whip. If you thought He was kosher, He would start talking about other people eating his flesh. If you thought He was a paragon of mercy, He would pronounce woes and judgements.
But wait! If you asked Him to condemn a sinful woman, He proclaimed forgiveness and grace. If you told Him a man was a tax-collecting thief, he loved him all the more. If you nailed Him to a cross, He prayed for you.
He was (and is) radically and completely God... living above the expectations of others, the mores of his culture, and the rules of society. Tell Him that the Sabbath was for resting, and He would work. Tell Him not to touch lepers, and He would hold and heal them. Tell him not to socialize with Samaritans, and He would deliberately converse with a Samaritan woman.
He marched to His own drumbeat. He lived with a vision set only on kingdom. He walked out of a perspective that never placed value on temporal things. He was not of this world and every moment that He lived and word that He spoke portrayed this.
Do we really even know who He is, really? How honestly are we willing to look at Him knowing that our calling is to imitate Him and be like Him?
I'm just thinking that if we kept our focus really on Him, every church, house church, simple church, and mega-church would be absolutely, thoroughly, and completely transformed and turned upside down in more ways than we can imagine merely by the irresistible force of the life of Jesus pulsing through His imitators.