Jesus. The man who spits in dirt in order to give site to the blind. Jesus, the one who called the stingy tax collector a "son of Abraham", yet criticized the folks who loved rules and order more than people, that Jesus.
Sometimes the things He did, the ways He responded, and the prayers He prayed don't line up with my neat, tidy, freely binding charismatic core. At times, I am taken back because I have based my life upon who He is, however my thinking at times, has directly opposed the red letters. If we aren't careful we will become like the Israelites, satisfying our need for a God whom we are comfortable with (our own golden calf), instead of embracing all WHO He is (Biblically speaking). Have we made our own pretty American Jesus? Is He a Jesus that came to bless us for the sake of a happy life, create only peace, never rocks the boat, submits without questioning, smooth path walking, living for a blessed outward result type of Jesus, to you?
I am done serving the Jesus I have helped form with my own hands. I am over my own comfortable Christianity. Give me the Jesus of the red letters, even if I don't undertand Him entirely. I would rather serve the God of the Bible who makes me uncomfortable verses a comfortable savior I have crafted with my own hands. Jesus said "Whoever loves his life will lose it, but those who lose it for my sake will find it". Jesus threw the tables over in church because he disagreed with the leaderships' money handling, He didn't say, "Just submit and pray for them, thats all we can do." The Jesus that said he that "He that is without sin can cast the first stone" when the woman was caught having sex with a man who wasn't her husband, I want that Jesus. Give me the Jesus that ate with sinners and didn't say..."well, lets not be unequally yoked", sat and played with children, dismissed the crowds so the disciples could rest. Now a days, we would have told Him to go directly to the back room, because surely being so anointed, his body would be tired, and we need to protect Him from the people. (Where do we come up with this junk, anyway?) The One that cursed the fig tree and it DIED, raised Lazarus from the dead although He was already in burial clothes, the One who walked on water. He told the rich ruler to sell everything cause the money had Him, (because his heart prospering was more important than his wallet). That Jesus. The Jesus that can sometimes make me a little uncomfortable because He doesn't seem "balanced" all of the time. I don't understand 100% why He did everything He did but I know He is Faithful and I know He is True... That Jesus. Give ME... That Jesus.
For He, the Jesus of the Bible, not the Jesus of my theology, is the One whom we will be with forever. I am for balance, I am for prosperity, I am for sanctified living, I am for supporting my leaders, yet not exclusively. I am also for radical living, giving until it hurts, loving people in their mess, and scriptural accountability, yes even towards leaders. I see no reason to make Jesus more palatable for the church or the world, He is perfect just as He is. Whether you have known Him for 24 years like me, or you are brand new to the faith, I invite you to re-introduce yourself to the straight up, organic, raw, nothing but Bible Jesus. Tear down pre-conceived, careful, religious thinking and embrace again the One whom you fell in love with. Give me THAT Jesus.