Friday, July 08, 2011

Seeing a Bible Story in a New Light

I'm reading Untamed by Lisa Harper right now. I'll do an official review when I'm done with it, but I've read 3 chapters so far and Harper takes Bible stories that I have read a million times and with humor and personal connections makes me see them in a new, amazing ways.

Chapter two is about Joseph and Mary leaving 12 year old Jesus in town when they leave, and later finding him in the temple having theological discussions with men twice his age. Harper points out that Jesus easily could have been sarcastic or rebellious, but was obedient and followed his parents home. At then end of the story, Mary "treasures these things in her heart." It also says that phrase after Jesus is born. Harper points out that in the meantime between his birth and when he turns 12, Mary has had four or more children and probably hasn't had time to think about what having the Messiah as a child means. I'm sure he acted differently than his brothers or sisters, being sinless and all, but until that moment in the temple, I bet Mary hadn't had the opportunity to really see the amazing child that she had. For me, it was convicting in some sense. I'm a mom who some days doesn't have time to realize who Jesus is either because I'm swept up in the daily being a mom thing.

Chapter three is the story of Jesus and John the Baptist. They were cousins and friends, but probably didn't see much of each other from older childhood until they reunited as adults. But Jesus was raised as a carpenter with brothers and sisters, while John was probably an orphan who spent most of his life in the wilderness eating locusts and honey, growing his hair out and not drinking because of the oath that his parents took when he was a child. I'm sure he was a little scary and different looking when he finally came out into public to begin preaching about hell and the coming redeemer. But Jesus came to him and asked John to baptize him, even though he didn't really need to be. John tried not to, but Jesus wanted to be a symbol of what it meant to be purified and to bless John's ministry and message. And when John was in jail and sent his followers to ask Jesus if he really was the one, Jesus wasn't mad at all at John's doubt, but praised him for his faithfulness and ministry. For me, I am so thankful that Jesus is faithful to me when I am unfaithful to him, when I am embarrassed of him or pretend that I don't know him. I may not do that in outright ways, but I do it daily when I don't spend time with him, or don't listen to that small voice telling me to talk to someone or say something kind to my kids or husband. I am so thankful that Jesus was untamed, willing to be with the unlovable and weird people! Amen?

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