Jesus Is Audacious
(This blog is summary of my latest sermon. To listen to the message click here)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- John 14:6
Jesus is audacious. He said things that were bold and controversial. He claimed to be God. He set himself up as the singular solution to the problems that pervade our planet. He said we are wrong and need to repent from our sin and he said there is no way back to God, except through him. These claims are bold and shocking and eventually they got Jesus killed.
After all, Jesus wasn’t killed for being a good moral teacher. No one really took offense when he said, “love your neighbor as yourself” or “don’t worry about your life because God will take care of you.” In general, people thought those were pretty good ideas.
Additionally, Jesus wasn’t killed for his miracles. Because who get upset with a guy who is going around healing people and turning water into wine. That doesn’t get you killed. That gets you invited to parties.
So why was Jesus killed? Because he was audacious.
I don’t know about you, but I love that Jesus was audacious, and personally, I think this is a perspective of Jesus that needs to be reclaimed. Far too often, we want a savior who never offends, a God we could confidently bring to meet our friends for drinks after work and he would be so gracious and funny and safe that our friends would love him.
But that’s not Jesus. Jesus was audacious. He called people to repent. He claimed to be God and said that heaven or hell hinge on our belief in him.
Those statements are bold and confrontational. Now that doesn’t mean that Jesus wasn’t also full of grace and kindness. Absolutely, he was those things, but he was also a truthteller and in his truthfulness he said things people didn’t like – things people today still do not like. Goodness, Jesus said things that I don’t like. And yet, I think we are on dangerous ground, like kids digging in a mine field, if we tamper with Jesus’ claims to make him more tame.
You see sometimes the savior we want isn’t the savior we actually need. I think the savior most of us want is one who Oprah could invite to be on Super Soul Sunday and everybody would love him. But Jesus refuses to give us this kind of savior because the savior we want, isn’t the one that we need. We need Jesus with all of his sharp edges of glory and truth.
So here’s some questions for you to consider: Will you embrace Jesus as he is? Will you resist the temptation to remake him into a softer savior? Will you believe in Jesus with all of his audacious claims – even the ones you don’t like?
I hope so, because his audacious promise is that if you believe in him you will have life to the full.
And if you look at Jesus and you’re like, “No. I’m not comfortable him.” Think about this: Would you not agreed that what people really need are personal relationships, including a personal relationship with God? And wouldn’t a truly personal relationship with God only be possible if he could say things that upset you because only then would you know that you have a relationship with a real God and not one that you created in your mind? So isn’t the fact that Jesus said things that you don’t like an indication that he really is the true, living God.