If I’m being perfectly honest …Jesus intrigues me. I find Him inescapably fascinating!
I realize that many of you reading this right now would tell me that I must simply believe in Jesus, and regard Him as Right!; and to say that I’m intrigued with Him endangers orthodoxy and conventional submission. My fascination with Jesus might spark curiosity, which might disrupt our traditions of theological precision and simplisticness, and jeopardize our protocols of decency and decorum.
I also realize that many of you reading this right now would tell me that I must simply reject Jesus, because you find Him offensive and old-fashioned. You will tell me that Jesus must be cancelled because He does not support, endorse, or celebrate homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuals, transgenderists, cross dressers, and/or allies of the aforementioned crusaders. You will tell me that I must delete my devotion to Jesus because He violently opposes legalists, and religiously uptight people, and the KKK, and Nazism, and Hamas, and consumerism, and materialism, and people who wallow in self-pity, and humans who mope around like they’re the victim, and any and all manifestations of self-absorption and petulance.
I realize that theological precisionist simplisticists don’t want me to mention the inexorable complexities and chronicles of struggle with what Jesus commands; and the all the other people in the world simply hate Jesus for saying stuff like…
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”– Jesus of Nazareth
If Jesus asked me, “Do you believe in Me?” I wouldn’t simplistically say “YES!” …I would say, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
If you asked Michael & Jane Banks, “Do you trust Mary Poppins?” They would probably say, “Yeaianoiso… it’s complicated.”
Or suppose you asked Giovanni Bertuccio if his unwavering devotion to The Count of Monte Cristo was predicated on a comprehensive understanding of The Count’s WAYS? He’d say, “No! The Count’s ways are mystifying and confounding to me! His ways are NOT my ways! His thoughts are NOT my thoughts! My draconian surrender and allegiance to The Count has nothing to do with my comprehension of His style, statements, or strategies; it simply has everything to do with the fact that I owe him my life!”
If you asked Charlie Bucket to explain why he was the beneficiary of the lavish, absurdly generous, and completely out-of-left-field inheritance of Willy Wonka’s chocolate empire… Charlie would say, “Well, I can’t really explain it. It’s not ‘logical’ and it’s certainly not equitable! I mean, I definitely broke the laws of the chocolate factor! Under 37b of the contract signed by me, it stated quite clearly that all offers of the lifetime supply of chocolate shall become null and void, if (and I could read it for myself in a photostatic copy) I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained, et cetera, et cetera, fax, mentis, incendium, gloria culpum, et cetera, et cetera, memo bis punitor delicatum!” …It was all there, black and white, clear as crystal! I STOLE FIZZY LIFTING DRINKS! And my grandpa and I bumped into the ceiling, sullying the sanctity of Wonka’s other-wordly realm. So if we’re talking about ‘What’s Fair’ …I should’ve got NOTHING! I lost! (in short, “Good day, sir!”). And, honestly, I should’ve been castigated and punished. So I admitted it. I undeniably broke the law, and I deserved condemnation! My grandpa suggested that I get offended and play the victim, and that I retaliate against Mr. Wonka by selling Wonka’s unmerited gift of a Gobstopper to Wonka’s sinister nemesis Slugworth (who actually turned out to be Mr. Wilkinson …an employee of Mr. Wonka, but that’s kind of another story). But I decided to return the Gobstopper to Mr. Wonka, because I knew I was a malefactor. AND THE MOST MIND-BOGGLING thing happened! …Mr. Wonka called me “His boy!”, and he jumped up and hugged me! And he freaking gave me his entire empire! What confounding enigmatic mercy?!?! What flabbergasting munificence and magnificence!!??!!”
If you asked Po or Shifu if they have any clue as to what Master Oogway was driving at most of the time, they would have to admit, “No, not really.” Does this mean that they aren’t submissive to Oogway? Not-at-all …they are simultaneously —> constantly confounded AND falteringly acquiescent!
That’s kinda how it is with Jesus of Nazareth.