This is a guest post from my friend Cole Schneider. Cole is a fan of the Orlando Magic, but let’s all promise not to hold that against him, okay?
Jesus and the Zombie-Pirates
Once upon a time, Jesus said the following to a bunch of people:
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better to lose one of your members than your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than your whole body go to hell.”
As I was reading these verses recently I wondered what a typical 12-year old would think of Jesus’ statement if left to his or her own understanding. I wondered how many of them would picture a bunch of people walking around with only 5 fingers and 1 eye; an army of obedient zombie-pirates.
When Jesus was 12 years old he amazed the rabbis in Jerusalem with His “understanding”. Even from a young age He knew the value of God’s word. He knew that regurgitation of Sunday School answers wasn’t the point. He “understood” implies that He used some basic critical thinking skills to better understand God’s word and the implications, which that was going to place on His life. It then says that Jesus continued to “increased in wisdom”. Again, let me remind you…He was only 12.
Like me, I’m guessing you’re older than 12. I’m also guessing that none of us would amaze the rabbis in Jerusalem with our understanding. We can sometimes be a little lazy with the way we follow Jesus. We want other people to give to the poor. We want other people to volunteer their time and effort. We even want other people to read the Bible for us. We sometimes think getting our one hour per week fix every Sunday is enough. We can even think it is commendable that we show up, like it is our sole academic thinking requirement for our spiritual lives just to be there.
However, Jesus has called us to a much more radical level of critical thinking. He didn’t always speak in concise, straightforward teachings that were 140 characters or less and made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. He spoke often in parables and metaphor, questioning and challenging people to think their way to a conclusion that matched He and his Father’s will.
Jesus inspired people, but He did so very uniquely by way of challenging those people into an understanding of their source of inspiration.
So my question for you is, do you know the answers from Sunday School (or big-boy church) without really understanding the questions? Do you take the few answers that the Bible does provide at face value, not willing to search for deeper meaning in anything?
I’ll leave you with this thought…
The next morning Jesus woke up to a multitude of bloodied, one-eyed, one-handed people. He was astonished by their faithfulness, but even more disturbed by their foolishness. He then said with a half-grin, “I hope some of you were left-handed.”
If you’re honest, how often do you find yourself acting like a Zombie-Pirate?