I recently preached a sermon on Luke’s account of the two discouraged disciples with whom Jesus walked on the road to Emmaus on Resurrection Sunday. This story reminded me that my disappointment with Jesus is really a sign that I’ve been leaning on someone less than Jesus, a pseudo-savior. Oh me of little faith! I am all too often a “foolish [man] and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” concerning Christ.
When Jesus inquired as to what his frowning friends were discussing as they walked, their sadness stopped them in their tracks. They explained how their hero, Jesus of Nazareth, had recently been sentenced to execution by their leaders. “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel,” they said. But the Savior in whom they hoped was not the Savior the Scriptures herald. They were counting on a counterfeit Christ, a made-in-their-own-image Messiah. As the three continued to walk to Emmaus, Jesus walked his friends through the Scriptures, adjusting their understanding of who their hoped-for Messiah must be and what he came to do. Having a little walk and talk with the resurrected Jesus ignited a fire of passion for the real Jesus with which these disciples and others eventually turned the world upside down.
In his new book Your Jesus Is Too Safe: Outgrowing a Drive-Thru, Feel-Good Savior, pastor/blogger Jared Wilson not only introduces Jesus but imitates him. In twelve chapters Wilson, like Jesus, walks alongside his readers, gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) showing us how we tend to hope in a variety sub-biblical “redeemers” whom we call “Jesus” but who bear little resemblance to the Jesus revealed in the Scriptures.
Wilson’s biblical wisdom and bold wit enable his readers to “venture beyond the hype and beneath the misconceptions to see the real, historical figure of Jesus Christ in his biblical and cultural context–and in this way to know God more fully, to see what God wants us to know about the revelation of himself in his son” (page 15).
I heartily recommend Wilson’s book to my readers as a cure for the common “Christ.”