“You really have no idea what Jesus was like, do you?
“He was nothing special to look at. He could walk down this street today and not one of you would even notice him. In fact he had the kind of face you would shy away from, certain he wouldn’t fit in with your crowd.
“But he was as gentle a man as one would ever know. He could silence detractors without ever raising his voice. He never bullied his way; never drew attention to himself nor did he ever pretend to like what vexed his soul. He was real, to the very core of his being.
“And at the core of that being was love. Wow! Did he love! We didn’t even know what love was, until we saw it in him. It was everyone, too, even those who hated him, who wouldn’t extend to him the simplest of courtesies. He still cared for them, hoping somehow they would find a way out of their self-inflicted souls to recognize who stood among them.
“And with all that love, he was completely honest. Yet even when his actions or words exposed people’s darkest motives, they didn’t feel shamed. They felt safe with him. His words conveyed not even a hint of judgment, simply an entreaty to come to God and be freed by him. There was no one you would trust more quickly with your deepest secrets. If someone were going to catch you at your worst moments you’d want it to be him.
“He wasted no time mocking others, nor their religious trappings. If he had something to say to them, he’d say it and move on and you would know you’d been loved more than anyone had ever loved you before.
“I’m not talking about mamby-pamby sentimentalism either. He loved, really loved. It didn’t matter if you were Pharisee or prostitute, disciple or blind beggar, Jew, Samaritan or Gentile. His love held itself out for any to embrace. Most did, too, when they saw him. Though so few ended up following him for those few moments his presence passed through their life, they tasted something they could never deny even years later. Somehow he seemed to know everything about you, but loved deeply all that was true about who he made you to be.
“And when he hung there from that filthy cross, that love still poured down–on mocker and disillusioned friend alike. As he approached the dark chamber of death, wearied by his battle with sin, there was no finer moment in all the world. His anguish became the conduit for his life to be given to you. This was no madman. This was God’s Son, poured out to the last breath, so that we could live free.”
–So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore by Jake Colsen
(Except from Chapter 1 “Stranger And Stranger Still”)