Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jesus the Paradox

I read the book of Matthew in a sitting and had a very startling revelation: Jesus is a paradox. GK Chesterton has suggested this in his amazing book "Orthodoxy" (If you have not yet read this book, immediately stop reading this page and navigate here to read it, here to buy it, or here to listen to it; it's far better than anything I could write). I wrote this yesterday (1/23/08) in my journal:

He is violent and benevolent. Loving and hating. he blesses the children and curses the pharisees. He accuses Peter for using a sword and himself wields a whip. He blesses the peacemakers, but then declares He has not come to bring peace but a sword. He condemns separation through divorce, and then promises it through faith.

He is extreme, and even puritanical, condemning the most righteous to hell; but then He eats with sinners and declares they are His mission. He says man does not live by bread alone, and then makes bread. He says to love your neighbor as yourself and then shouts hateful things about the pharisees. He shuts up the mouths of those who would worship Him, and later He arranges it.

Such a perfect paradox is more than human.

Jesus was not just Felt-Board Jesus, but He included Him. The sense of love, acceptance and comfort that is so important a part of who we are as human beings was perfectly and fully expressed by Christ. But this was not his entirety.

Jesus was not just Fire-and-Brimstone Jesus, but He included Him. Out instincts towards justice, our pursuit of power and glory, our restlessness and sense of adventure are in their fullness in Jesus.

Life is a balance and a paradox; we can learn so much about this proper balance from our Lord.

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