What If Jesus Walked Our Modern Streets, Rather Than in Antiquity?
The streets were flooded with countless faces, all contorted in pain and agony as they desperately pressed upon one another to just catch a glimpse of this prophet whom they had heard so much about. They had heard that the dead were raised, the sick were healed, the hungry were fed, and those possessed with evil spirits were set free. In desperation, they reached out clinging to his garments hoping that they might get just enough blessing from the holiness which so potently flowed through him that his very clothes healed the sick. And though he touched the untouchable—the diseased and disgusting—the religious elites stood looming over the crowds shaking their heads and scoffing at the sight of this false prophet who performed these works through the power of the devil. They wanted Jesus dead. They wanted him exposed for the heretic, blasphemer that he was.
The oddity of Christ is that He was both hated and loved. He was both despised and desired. Any perusal through the gospels reveals countless stories of when Christ was loved by the commoners and the socially despised, but was generally hated by the religious elite—those who held authority over the “truth” and religious access to God.
Christ, in all accounts, was and is a savior of radical sacrifice, service, and the abandonment of the religious status quo. So often when the gospels are read, people miss much of his wild, radical side. Seeing Christ in context is central to understanding just how wild our savior was and is. There is great benefit to studying the historical, social, and political context in which Christ came and in which the gospels were written. However, even with this “head knowledge”, often the image remains incomplete. Following Him remains a sort of fairy tale story which occurred a long, long time ago in a very far off place. The reality is, however, that Christ is just as radical today as He was back in the first century. He wants to do the same things within our communities. But what does that actually look like in our modern contexts and contemporary social problems?
The story of Christ’s coming and his teachings needs to be placed in a modern, more relatable context so that His radical and wild way of loving, serving, and preaching becomes more clear.
If Christ came today and walked our streets, rather than 2000 years ago, what would he be doing? What would be the reaction to his lifestyle? Who would He spend his time with? What would be the reaction to some of his teachings? And who would follow him or declare him a heretic?
Each Thursday a new element of this modern approach to Christ in our contemporary context will be explored, ultimately to culminate in a manuscript for a new book. Your comments and thoughts will literally and tangibly help shape the content of this project. Please share a link and leave a comment! Help us make this endeavor a success.
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