In Chapter 1 of Who is This Man? Pastor John Ortberg describes Jesus’ impact on the ancient world. While the people of Jesus’ time scorned humility, humility became enshrined on a cross and eventually championed as a virtue. Enemies, once seen as worthy of vengeance, now were worthy of love. Forgiveness, once perceived as an act of weakness, moved to being an act of moral beauty.
Jesus, Pastor Ortberg states, is the man who would not give up. But Jesus also is deeply mysterious. The author cites three reasons: (1) He lived long ago in a world very different from ours; (2) He is mysterious because of what we don’t know about Him; (3) He is mysterious because of what we do know about Him.
Author N. T. Wright observes that Jesus puzzled the people of His day, and puzzles us still. John Ortberg explains that such puzzlement is not random or absurd:
“Understanding his ( Jesus’) life is . . . like listening to an answer which- when you get it- you’ll realize you always somehow knew. Like light on a strange path that, when you follow it, turns out to lead you home.”
Humility, loving our enemies, forgiveness- difficult virtues to attain when our pain is so intense from our ministry downsizing or vocation loss. Yet, as Pastor Ortberg states: “Something about Jesus keeps prodding people to do what they would rather not.”
Today’s question: In the midst of your desert transition time, what is Jesus prodding you to do that you would rather not? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A child of the King”