Just when we think we might have a handle on Jesus as the meek and gentle Savior we get a picture of Jesus behaving badly. When the crowds begin increasing we might expect Jesus to be pleased. After all, we can have more being reached; wider influence; greater impact; good for business. But Jesus isn’t down for all the people following him around. He opens his mouth and says to them, “This generation is an evil generation.” Jesus went on to chide the people who were looking for a cool miracle and a neat sign of his power and authority. Nope. Instead, Jesus lets them know that they have ample opportunity to accept him but are not moving in that direction.
Sometimes we so desperately want to make Jesus cool and acceptable so that others will follow him. If only Jesus will heal this person, we reason, lots of people will believe. If only Jesus will compassionately and powerfully perform a great miracle, we think, the world will take notice and put their trust in God. But Jesus simply points people back to characters of the Old Testament. If people won’t take notice of what they already have, they are not going to be swayed with a shiny new sign.
Jesus defies stereotypes. And he ought to, because he is King. This is why we need a steady daily stream of God’s Word to help ground us into the ways of Jesus. The more we allow the Scriptures to shape our spirituality, the more our lives will be formed into the likeness of Jesus. It is a process. It is often slow. There are not a lot of bells and whistles to it. On most days, there is not a lot of drama – just the pedantic plodding of a faithful believer trying to make sense of living the Christian life. And those are the people I think Jesus most likes to hang-out with.
Astounding God, you sometimes shake us out our pre-conceived notions about you and invite us to see Jesus from a different viewpoint. Help me to see Jesus so that I might more fully embrace him and walk in his ways in the strength of the Spirit. Amen.