“Jesus apparently cannot be fitted in anywhere: neither with the rulers nor with the rebels, neither with the moralizers nor with the silent ascetics. He turns out to be provocative, both to right and left. Backed by no party, challenging on all sides: ‘The man who fits no formula.’ He is neither a philosopher nor a politician, neither a priest nor a social reformer. Is he a genius, a hero, a saint? Or a religious reformer? But is he not more radical than someone who tries to re-form, reshape things? Is he a prophet? But is a ‘last’ prophet, who cannot be surpassed, a prophet at all? The normal typology seems to break down here. He seems to have something of the most diverse types (perhaps more of the prophet and reformer than of the others), but for that very reason does not belong to any one of them. He is on a different plane: apparently closer than the priests to God, freer than the ascetics in regard to the world, more moral than the moralists, more revolutionary than the revolutionaries. Thus he has depths and vastnesses lacking in others. It is obviously difficult both for friends and enemies to understand him, still less wholly to penetrate his personality. Over and over again it becomes clear that Jesus is different. Despite all parallels in detail, the historical Jesus in his wholeness turns out to be completely unique – in his own time and ours.” Hans Küng
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?'” Matthew 19:13-15
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you in awe of the “vastnesses” in Jesus? Do you give others the impression that you have him pretty much figured out?
- Can you think of anyone like him in ancient or modern times? Anyone you’ve ever known?
- If he was “provocative” both “to right and left”, do you think that either the right or left can fully represent him today? Does Jesus challenge the positions of your political party? …your denomination?
Abba, I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene….
For More: On Being a Christian by Hans Küng
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”