In this society, Jesus is immensely popular for various reasons, while also being, hands down, the most misunderstood man in the history of this Earth.
Let me demonstrate for you the following schedule, rough-hewn from my own long-term observations of common religious behavior and sentiment. The first three items are from his deeds, and the fourth, from his demeanor, as popularly understood.
It seems that Jesus, having said and done a great many marvelous things from before the creation, and after his return to Heaven, is surprisingly most popular for having successfully
managed that most passive-yet-celebrated act of being born.
And this is just the beginning of the curiosities.
Next, Jesus is popular for rising again from death on the third day
In third place is him having served as a sacrifice for sin, though people won’t agree on exactly how that worked or what it means. And if one presses them to talk about it for long, acrimonious conflict will ensue.
The three items above are most easily seen as they are features of his deeds. But a few will venture to wax philosophic, attempting, however imperfectly, to fathom Jesus’ character. And in this vein, I have found no celebration of Jesus more enthusiastic than this one:
Fourth, it seems he is popular for always carrying a lamb around in his paintings, or for having children at his feet―the one being just as good as the other, it seems―him being oft overheard to have been gentle and meek and kind and warm and fuzzy, and endlessly forgiving in all things whatsoever
Back To Christmas
And that brings us back again to Christmas―that great year-end reset, at which so many manage to relax while pretending to be unified with most other believers on something quite substantial about Jesus, however whittled down and scant it might be in reality. It is that most agreeable holiday that we celebrate as we please, not caring all that much about how others celebrate it differently, for, unlike the things that are actually matters of scripture, we have no precedent for it over which to argue much―which fact certainly lends itself to the celebration.
And that is how this sloppy world responds to Jesus―celebrating most his success in doing
that most mundane thing we all have managed to do: being born. And from there, making of him what they will―seeing him how they want and believing whatever it pleases them to believe in their endless array of custom-made camps.
This is our society’s response to what the King of Creation did and said.
1 Matthew 27:50-53 (NIV) And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
2 See my article: Jesus’ Resurrection Day Was A Bigger Deal Than You May Realize
3 Romans 11:22 (NIV) Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
4 Matthew 8:11 (ESV) I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
5 John 12:48 (NIV) There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
6 Luke 12:46 (NIV) The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. (Read the entire scene here.)