is a transliteration of the Greek word, εγερσις, which has the meaning of being roused to life. Thus, it is my hope that what you find on this blog will empower, arouse, stimulate, excite, and animate your life--your soul, your spirit--the wholeness of who you are.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another Reflection on the Gospel of John

Jesus and John

As I continue reading in John, I am fascinated with what I am noticing. For this post, I plan to write about the “weirdness” of Jesus. Just a warning so that you have time to exit and go somewhere else in the blogging world.

As I was saying, Jesus strikes me as odd, bizarre, weird. Now it could be that it appears this way because John omits bits and pieces of the conversations that Jesus has with people. But it is so odd that it probably did indeed take place as written. Otherwise, John is a poor storyteller and makes Jesus look like a weirdo. Either way, Jesus seems to say weird and off-the-wall things.

Now I have heard preachers try to explain this weirdness, but they make a lot of assumptions. And who, really, can get inside Jesus’ head by means of a few words on a page and speak for half an hour about something that is just too weird to explain. I’ll tell you what I think. I think Jesus’ weirdness is scary, so they have to make up some rational explanation so that Jesus doesn’t appear to be munching mushrooms when his disciples weren’t looking.

Now, I am not trying to be disrespectful here. I am just saying that some things Jesus says are way out there—downright weird. And for the record, “weird,” according to the dictionary, is “strange, bizarre.” So there you have it. Jesus says weird things. And in John, I have noticed these weird things.

The text that really got me thinking about this is in John 4. This is the story of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. The first weirdness occurs following an intense dialogue about water—who will draw it, who will drink it, where it comes from, well water, living water—basically, it has to do with water. Jesus brings her to the place where she wants the living water and asks Jesus to give it to her.

He then says, “Go get your husband.” What? They were just talking about water. She wants this living water. And Jesus changes the subject completely and randomly (although, I am sure it made sense in his head), tells her to get her husband. Weird. Of course, if you’ve read this chapter, you know that the conversation takes a few more turns, and by the end of it, they are talking about the Messiah. And then Jesus declares that he is the Messiah. But they get there by way of the husband. Now that is bizarre.

The second weirdness occurs when the disciples come back with food. They urge Jesus to eat. After all, he was tired and needed to rest. They figure he needs some nourishment to revive his energy. And what does Jesus reply to their urgings? “I have food. You just don’t know about it.” The disciples are confused. I would be confused. Then Jesus starts talking about sowing and reaping, fields, sowers and reapers, laboring, and getting paid. Weird.

It is as though Jesus ignores what his disciples are saying. And I imagine that Jesus got the kind of stare people have when they are envisioning something in their own minds and begin talking about it with a sort of flat affect because they are mesmerized by their own visualizations. I don’t know. Maybe I'm the only one that does that sort of thing. It just seems weird for Jesus to start talking somewhat off-topic.

And what really gets me is that nobody seems to care that Jesus is weird. They let him be weird. They even go along with his weirdness. I like that. And I like that Jesus is weird because I identify with weirdness. It gets people’s attention, makes them ask interesting questions, and prevents a certain comfortableness with the way things are.

I’ll be looking for more of Jesus' weirdness. It keeps me asking questions and prevents me from getting too comfortable with who I think Jesus ought to be or with what others have said about who Jesus is.

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