Can I be vulnerably honest with you (since most days I’m apparently lying like a panicked politician)?
If I had lived in Jesus day. Heard His teachings in real time. Watched him heal the sick. Feed the hungry. Devour the religious elite like leftover barley loaves and Galilean lake-perch. I’m still not sure I would’ve believed.
It’s so easy to read Scripture with all I know, with all I’ve learned and ingested, with the energy of my Christian culture cheering me on like a breakaway NFL running back, and feel sorry (actually more judgmental) for those that doubted. Those that questioned. Those that struggled to really believe this ordinary carpenter they’d known since birth was actually the Savior of the world.
Even his own biological brothers mocked Him in disbelief. (John 7:5)
Those poor ignorant people. There there. How could you possibly be so blind? Wake up! They’re gonna be writing songs about this guy for millennia. Erecting Gothic cathedrals in His honor. Seeing His face in burnt toast.
(photo from the Make Blog)
Until I stop to ponder one thing: believing in Jesus could not have been more counter-culture in His day. It would have battled every assumption, every expectation, and every ingrained impulse in their being. Following Jesus was swimming against the current. Like a Hollywood actor admitting he voted for George Bush kinda crazy.
For me, it’s always been 100% downstream. I would be breaking my cultural norms not to believe. Which leads me to ask this difficult question:
Is a rubber-stamp, unchallenged, culture-pleasing faith really faith at all?
Isn’t wrestling with what it really means to be a follower of Jesus an imperative part of the journey? Isn’t facing doubt head on a requirement for developing an authentic faith? Of having an actual encounter with Jesus?
I can attest, it certainly has been for me.
Jesus isn’t afraid of my doubts. I’ve actually found Him quite comfortable there. Ready to show me who He really is, not just the (toast crumbed?) picture my culture Has handed me.
Do you ever feel guilty for wrestling with doubt?