Your God is Too Boring V: Who do you say that I am?
Feb 25, 2016
During Lent, we will be reading and discussing Jon Leonetti’s Your God is too Boring. The blog post that follows is part of our reflection. Feel free to read, share, comment on, and discuss all that is reflected on here. While you don’t necessarily need to read the book in order to participate in our online discussion, we really recommend that you do, because, well, it’s a good book. Books and the reflection guide are three dollars and can be picked up at the back of church.
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.
You can’t just shrug and take Jesus or leave him. That’s why he was so dangerous. When people are confronted with the reality of him, they had to make a choice. Either he was who he said he was…or he was an egotistical madman.
Pg. 52 of Your God is too Boring
The above scene from Franco Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth, illustrates the power of these quotes. Just before this scene, Jesus asks the disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" In response to that question, the disciples jovially and openly state how people see Jesus-John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet. Then he asks them who they say he is and we see none of that openness or joviality. They are quiet...uncomfortable...they can't look Jesus in the eye. They knew that their response to his question would require something of them. Perhaps they weren't aware exactly what that was, but they knew this was no laughing matter.
So it is with us. Jesus does not ask this question only of his Apostles, he asks it to us, everyday. Each day gives us new opportunities to answer the question, and respond with our lives.True, we won't always get it right. It's important to note that in the scene immediately following the one above, Jesus calls Peter Satan when Peter tries to keep Jesus from going to Jerusalem, where he knew he would probably be killed. Peter wanted to protect Jesus by keeping him (and Peter) away from danger. In one moment, Peter-the rock upon which Jesus built His church, was calling Jesus the Messiah, and the next he was trying to keep Jesus from fulfilling his role as Messiah and Savior.
Lent, then, is the perfect time to ask yourself the tough questions about how you are living as a disciple:
Who do you say that Jesus is?
What keeps you from responding to the question with the faith of Peter?
Once you have responded to the question, what keeps you from following Jesus completely? What keeps you from going to Jerusalem with Him?