Monday, April 22, 2024

The Jesus we want. . .

I have read any number of attempts to define how Jesus was as a child.  Some would insist that He is the righteous and dutiful Son of Mary even as He is the righteous and dutiful Son of God.  Others like to speculate that there might have been a little bit of naughtiness in Jesus -- well, if not naughtiness then youthful indiscretion and playful spirit.  The point that people try to make is that we do not know.  Scripture says little to shed real light on the nature of Jesus' childhood or childish fantasy.  Or does it?

It would seem that we know all we need to.  He was subject to His parents (Luke 2:51), about His Father's business (Luke 2:49), grew in stature and knowledge (Luke 2:40), and even in stature before men (Luke 2:52).  Are these not enough to suggest that though our Lord's divinity remained hidden, it was not absent nor was it so hidden that it was not noticed?  We want to believe that Jesus was a boy like every other boy in large measure because that covers us from all sorts of boyish foolishness and error.  But the reality is that Jesus was not a boy like every other boy precisely because there was no boy like Him.  Even if we were not fully conscious of this from the beginning, He was.  Mary pondered all these things in her heart and as Mother of our Lord taught Him through her example and her pondering to know all that surrounded His conception and birth.  In this, she is no different than any other mother even if Jesus is not exactly the same as every other boy.

We also want to believe that Jesus was a snap at carpentry -- having learned from master carpenter Joseph and having the adeptness of a natural being the Son of God.  But as the earthly carpenter is concerned with earthly dwellings, our Lord was born to build a heavenly dwelling place, a mansion with many rooms, to be filled with all those who love His appearing.  He goes there to prepare a place for us that we may be where He is and He with us forever.  Jesus building is not for Habitat for Humanity -- as noble and laudable as their work might be.  No, He is come to build a new heavens and a new earth and not to fix the errors or tinker with the limitations of this one.  He tabernacles in the womb of Mary and in the dust of the earth so that we might tabernacle with Him as sons and daughters of the Most High and tabernacle not in a grave but in the resurrection of the body for the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.

We are always trying to make Jesus more like us.  Odd.  Jesus is always working by the Spirit to make us more like Him.  While Christianity has certainly been successful in trying to hide Jesus in the earthly clothing not only of His flesh but our image, He will prevail to make us into Him, wearing the image of our Savior placed upon us in Baptism to shine like the stars of heaven forevermore.  

No comments: