Friday, October 12, 2007

A Reality TV show that turned into a Horror movie.

Imagine a reality TV show that turned into a horror movie.

It’s like you’re watching someone cooking dinner and then zombies start coming in the front door.

It’s like you’re watching a group of guys hanging out at a friend’s house and then an army of demon-possessed people starts surrounding the house, screaming.

That’s what this story of Jesus is like. It’s like a reality TV show that turned into a horror movie. What do I mean by that? Well, lets look in the bible and see what it says about what a night in the life of Jesus might look like.

A close friend of Jesus, Peter, told what had happened to him to a writer named Mark. This is what happened, according to Mark.

Mar 1:32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

So picture this.. the sun is going down, the creepiness is about to begin. Jesus and his friends are hanging out at his best friend’s girlfriend’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law’s, when all of a sudden they start to hear the sound of a crowd, shouts, groans, then there’s a knock at the door and you look out the window and you see this mass of people. There’s so many people you can’t even see all the people.

Now imagine if a whole city’s worth of sick people and demon-possessed people were coming to your house.

And what does Jesus do. Now here’s where it stops looking like a horror movie. He does not shoot them. He does not blow them up. He heals them without surgery, without medicine. He casts out the demons and tells them to be quiet, without destroying them. See, we try to understand Jesus but he doesn’t fit into any of our categories. The story of Jesus is not like a reality show. It’s not like a horror movie. It’s different than anything we know. Jesus doesn’t fit into any of our categories.

Let’s see how Jesus fits into three categories: doctor, demon-slayer, celebrity.

Jesus is like a doctor because he heals people. He doesn’t mind being around really sick people. He compromises his own safety to be around them. He’s talented at healing people. Yet he’s not like a doctor. A doctor needs medicine to help people. A doctor needs surgery to help people. A doctor usually gets paid to heal people. Jesus doesn’t. He just heals people. So he doesn’t fit the category of doctor.

Jesus is like a demon-slayer from a fantasy movie or a comic book. He can see and talk to demons. He doesn’t just fight the bad guys. He fights on a supernatural level with actual forces of evil. Just like a demon-slayer, demons are no match for Jesus. Demons recognize his authority. He’s even able to command demons and they do what he says. But he’s not like a demon-slayer in that he doesn’t use any tools or tricks to get rid of the demons. His only tool is prayer. He doesn’t fight them either; he just tells them what to do. Another weird thing about Jesus is that he doesn’t destroy the demons he just tells them to pack up and shut up. So Jesus doesn’t even fit the fantastical category of demon-slayer.

Jesus is like a celebrity from pop-culture. He’s very famous. Everybody wants to see him. Everybody wants to get something from him. Everybody wants to see how he lives. And yet celebrities usually like to be surrounded by beautiful and powerful people. Jesus on the other hand welcomes hurting and messed up people. He wants to be around them more than around the beautiful powerful people. He’s also not like a celebrity because he doesn’t want people to know about him. Usually celebrities want as much publicity as possible, but not Jesus. He doesn’t tell people who he really is and those who figure it out, the demons, he tells them to keep quiet.

So Jesus doesn’t fit into any of our categories. He’s like no one you’ve ever known and that’s why you should be interested in finding out more about Him. I promise you, the more you find out about him, the more you will be convinced that there is no one like him. So I’m inviting you to find out more about Jesus this year. Even if you think you already know who Jesus is, I’m inviting you to find out more about Jesus.

So tonight when you’re going to bed, when you’re laying your head on your spider-man pillow, or your disney princess pillow, I want you to think about this: what if Jesus is really different than anyone who ever walked on the face of this earth? If there really is no one like Jesus how should I react to Him? AND If Jesus really loved sick and twisted people and cared for them, what does he think about me? How would he treat me?

And if you really want to learn more about Jesus this week find out what it feels like to care for sick and hurting people. Open your eyes and ears to the sick and hurting people in your life, spend time with them, move toward them, care for them. Then you’ll get to feel a little bit more how drastically different Jesus was than anyone who ever lived. I'm not saying to do this because God will be pleased if you do. I'm not saying do this because it's what's right. I'm saying do this to find out more what it felt like to be Jesus, to find out who he was care for hurting and messed up people.