Let’s talk about Jesus.
No – it’s not a religious article! I dislike religion.
I thought you were religious, David…?
Nope. Not one bit.
And therefore I’m totally grateful to my mate, Jesus.
Who is This Guy, Jesus?
How do you see Jesus?
What sort of guy is he?
- Some ancient religious figure who’s irrelevant today?
- A cool guy who set us a great example?
- A smart businessman?
I think you’ve already guessed how I see him…
He’s the life and soul of the party.
Ooh! That’s a bit irreverent, isn’t it David?
Let me tell you why I think he’s the super-cool guy to hang around with.
I’ve read the Bible a few times…
By the way, from the 40+ books I read every year, this is still the best book I’ve ever read – ‘cos not only is it full of wisdom, murder-mystery stories, poetry, and successful business advice – there are also lots of stories about this guy Jesus written by people who knew him first-hand.
Jesus in the Pub?
And from what I’ve read, I can imagine Jesus to be the sort of person you’d love to have as a friend.
The sort of guy to sit down with, in the pub with a pint or a glass of wine, and talk in-depth football – or fishing – or politics – or business – or travel.
Jesus easily engaged smart Government officials in conversation. And he talked the language of fishermen. He even dared to chat with freedom-fighters.
In fact, he even managed to get all of these sorts of individuals on his team and keep them focused.
For you theologians out there who think I’m crazy… that’s Matthew the Tax Collector; Peter, Andrew, James and John, the Fishermen; and Simon the Zealot.
Introvert Meets Extrovert
Now I’m the introvert type. And I reckon Jesus was an extrovert.
So I’m snookered, eh?
If Jesus saw me stood with my glass of Merlot, looking rather lost, I reckon he’d make a bee-line for me.
You see, Jesus loved people.
No. Let me correct that.
Jesus loves people. That’s the central theme of Easter. He’s alive!
So here we are in the pub.
Jesus and me.
Ever been star-struck?
I’m about to be.
“Err… Hi Jesus… How’s things?”
“Great, thanks,” replies Jesus. “The team are doing really well. What do you think of the wine by the way?”
“Yeah, it’s amazing, thanks. The best I’ve ever tasted. Why?”
“Oh, just asking… Anyway, what have you been up to? I hear you love writing blogs…”
And for the next hour, Jesus listens to me waffling on about the articles I’ve written, and my websites, and the places I’ve been to, and…”
Eventually, I realise I’ve done all the talking, mostly about myself.
“Sorry, Jesus, I’ve rattled on for well over an hour.”
“That’s OK,” says Jesus. “It’s fascinating. Tell me why you and Christine love going to France.”
That’s another hour.
As we leave, Jesus hands me his business card.
“If you ever need us, you know where to find us,” he shouts over as he picks up his jacket and leaves with his team.
I give him the thumbs up.
Later on, though, I think carefully.
Hmm… what’s the catch? No one gives you such quality time for nothing.
It’s only later… much later… when I realise that there was no catch at all. Jesus is the genuine article. A great bloke.
Putting together the pieces, I discover that he’s the same with everyone he meets. He’s genuinely interested.
Actually, no, not everyone. Some people he challenges. He dislikes hypocritical people who abuse their power. He stands up to bullies. I hope that doesn’t get him into trouble.
I hear of the miracles too. Lots of people getting healed. And well over 5000 people being fed from one packed lunch. I wish I’d been there to witness that!
But none of that was as important to me as the one-to-one in the pub on that Wednesday evening.
How did he manage to make me feel so important?
The Thrill of a Dial Tone
OK. Maybe I let the imagination run free a bit there.
Let’s roll the clock back (or is it forward?) to 1970.
My Mum has had an inner-ear problem which has left her stone-deaf in one ear. The specialist has told her she’ll have to live with it and rely on the remaining good ear.
She goes to church for the first time in a long time (actually the church came to us – it was a marquee about 200 yards away from the house – but that’s another story). A preacher talks about Jesus, then prays for anyone who wants to be healed. My Mum lets him pray for her.
Suddenly Mum gets excited.
“I can hear!” she shouts.
The tears give it away, anyway. Something has obviously happened to my Mum.
“Look, Fred!” she says to my Dad, over and over again when we arrive home.
“It’s the dial tone! I can hear the ‘phone!” she says, picking up the receiver for seemed like the 100th time. “It’s been 18 months since I heard that in this ear.”
And the tears flow again.
I was nearly 12 years old when that happened.
So you can imagine the impact it had on me…
The realisation that this guy, Jesus, is for real.
Now the earlier pub conversation with Jesus obviously was imaginary.
But Mum’s healing was very real. And it lasted.
A few years later, I invited Jesus into my life.
The experience when I asked him to forgive my past was incredibly real. I knew that something happened, and reckoned the future was going to be exciting too.
But why the healing?
Maybe because Jesus just loves making a difference for people. It certainly made a huge difference for my Mum.
Maybe it’s because I have a logical brain and I needed that bit of proof to begin a faith journey. My mate Jesus knew exactly what I needed.
So That’s How I See Jesus
- An extrovert who loves chatting with introverts
- Someone who’d be a great best mate
- Someone who enjoys doing good stuff for you – just because he can and he wants to
- Someone who makes you feel important
- Someone who’d stand up for you
- Someone who’d die for you
Yes. My best mate Jesus definitely is the life and soul of the party!