“Can I ask you a question?”
“Who is Jesus to you?”
“Oh, Jesus? Jesus is a womanizer. He’s a megalomaniac and a paranoiac. He’s also a brainwasher, a con-artist and a compulsive liar.”
“OK… that was unexpected. How did you arrive at that conclusion?”
“Because I knew him. I lived with him in a compound outside Billings for three years. Along with about a hundred other people. Sadly, I was one of four people that made it out alive.”
“Right… ok, then.”
Here’s a guy who will shake your paradigm. He rejects Jesus, and rightly so. He’s rejecting a thoroughly unworthy and wicked person, and obviously not the Son of God, the historical Jesus. But as far as he knows, he has rejected Jesus, and God is probably glad that he did. Because it’s not till he rejects his false Jesus, that he might have an opportunity to meet the real one. But it will take some time to disassociate, no doubt.
I wonder all the time how well I know the Jesus-followers from the rest. You might say all kinds of bad or indifferent things about Jesus, and I can’t tell right away whether you’re talking about my Jesus, or David Koresh. Conversely, you might say all kinds of beautiful and loving things about Jesus, without a strong clue as to his true identity. Are you talking about the Republican Jesus or the Democrat Jesus? the pacifist Jesus or the imperial Jesus? the homeless Jesus or the health-and-wealth Jesus?
We’ve heard it often enough by now that many people who shout “Lord, Lord” will find their cries falling on deaf ears. But this knife cuts both ways, because I believe there are also many out there with a hatred for who they think Jesus is, and a love for who he really is. It may not be common, but it’s out there.
The fact is, God knows intimately who his children are, even if they never really figure it out about each other.