I have been reading through the first few books of the second part of the Bible recently (I am on page 127) and I have stumbled upon something that is very surprising.The Jesus of the Bible has very little in common with the Jesus I was told about as a kid. In fact, I have never heard this Jesus preached at a church in all of my adult life.
I wrote about this once before, but the deal has officially been sealed for me. I now know of a Jesus that I was previously unaware of.
To contrast this amazing difference, let me explain Jesus A:
Kind, loving, tender, meek, etc. This is the Jesus that, as Rob Bell describes, walks calmly along beaches wearing a white bathrobe and a light blue beauty pageant sash - and his hair is blow dried - and he's Swedish. This is the Jesus that does very little other than pet goats and pat little kids on the head and read books to them. He is weak.
Now. The Jesus of what we now know as the collected works of The Bible:
He is fanatical. Tireless, yet tired. He is rude, brash, sarcastic, blunt, and frustrated. He seems constantly sick of the stupidity of the people that follow him around and attempt to learn from him. He expects people to see or hear something once, then believe it, and then do it. He expects it. He is continuously throwing his hands up to the sky and (apparently) asking God how he is supposed to work with these people.
A few examples:
O generation faithless, twisted and crooked, how long must I be with you? How much can I bear? Bring the boy to me." - Jesus, after returning from a night of camping with a few guys, and finding out that the rest of his guys had failed to do their jobs as they were instructed. | Luke 9:41
They had no idea what he meant by this; they heard the words but missed the meaning, and they felt too afraid to ask him to explain further. - The disciples feelings after Jesus had explained that he was going to be arrested and killed. | Luke 9:45 (why would the disciples be afraid to ask for an explanation of a meek and gentle person?)
You just don't get it. - Jesus, in response to a disciples question of whether Jesus wanted him to call down fire from heaven to destroy the people who have rejected his teachings. | Luke 9:55
These are all from the same chapter of just one book in the New Testament. I would challenge anyone who doesn't know this Jesus to re-read a few Jesus books in the Bible and decide for yourselves which is the real and which is the manufactured. But, even if you don't do it, just know that ignoring it doesn't make it any less true. It's in there. Sitting on your bookshelf. Waiting. It's all there. Written in black ink in plain English.
The sad part is - people just don't want to know the real Jesus. They want the weak, powerless Jesus that sits in the passenger seat telling you everything is going to be OK. There was a guy in the Bible like that, but his name wasn't Jesus, it was Adam.
The guy in the picture? That's Jesus.