My Sunday School class has begun to study a new book called, “The Secret Message of Jesus- Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything” by Brian McLaren. Even after one class and only reading the introduction and first chapter I’m really excited about it because I feel like it’s my journey. Here are a few excerpts from the book…
“What if the core message of Jesus has been unintentionally misunderstood or intentionally distorted? What if many have sincerely valued some aspects of Jesus’ message while missing or even supressing other, more important dimensions? What if many have carried on a religion that faithfully celebrates Jesus in ritual and art, teaches about Jesus in sermons and books, sings about Jesus in songs and hymns, and theorizes about Jesus in seminaries and classrooms… but somewhere along the way missed rich and radical treasures hidden in the essential message of Jesus?”
“But through these years, an uncomfortable feeling has showed me that the portrait of Jesus I found in the New Testamnet didn’t fit with the image of Christianity projected by religious institutions, charismatic televangelists, religious spokespeople in the media- and sometimes, my own preaching. Sometimes the discomfort has come when I realize that Jesus’ teachings and example don’t fit neatly in the categories of my theology.”
I’ve grown up in church my whole life and I still feel that I have yet to truly know Jesus. Throughout high school I was involved in one of the best youth groups and had some amazing friends who really helped me develop my relationship with the Lord. Up until that point in my life there weren’t many things that I didn’t “get” about Jesus. Even through my parents separation I somehow didn’t really grapple with the character of God.
However, in the past two years the Lord has blessed me (and I do really see it as a blessing now) with friends that have pushed my understanding of God’s character. Through situations and circumstances I’ve had to wrestle with things that I thought were so opposed to the nature of God- but in actually were Him. Anything that didn’t feel “good” to me couldn’t be God. Yet, now I am beginning to have my eyes opened to His whole character.
So I’m now on this journey of living my life with my heart open- open to see and hear Jesus as He truly is. And not the cookie-cutter version that is easier for my ego or life because I really don’t want to miss out on encountering the true Jesus, even if it hurts a little on the way.