Meeting Jesus

The truth is, he makes almost everybody uncomfortable.

I’d like to introduce you to a close, personal friend of mine.

But I’m afraid you won’t like him.

He’s a bit… different.

He’s an itinerant middle-aged single man with no job, no plan, no income, no prospects. He tends to stir up trouble wherever he goes. Also, he’s homeless. Is that okay with you?

You could say he lives an alternative lifestyle. It’s very alternative. He’s often in trouble with the local authorities. He wanders around, stays in different places, depends on the generosity of people around him. He hangs out with sex workers and he’s got a crowd of weirdos who follow him from around… married people, singles, all sorts of backgrounds, traveling with him, showing up where he shows up, just kind of hanging out, no apparent purpose. Who knows what goes in those gatherings?

I mean, we already know he pays no attention to propriety. He’s not proper at all. He swears, he drinks, he goes to parties. He probably dances. He’s always getting in arguments with the local pastors and priests. He’s even instigated a few unruly gatherings. Some might even call them riots. People have tried to kill this guy because he made them so angry.

I don’t know how you’ll feel about that. About hanging around with that kind of person.

He’s lovely and kind, but he has no regard for customs, social norms, things like that.

You should have heard what he called the local priest the other day.

He’s always questioning the status quo, doing what he was told not to do. Then he won’t even directly answer questions from the authorities. It’s almost like he doesn’t see them as authorities. You could say he’s kind of an anarchist.

He was raised religious, but whoa: he has gone way off the deep end. He still calls himself Jewish, but he rejects all the religious rules, dogmas, and doesn’t seem to think the traditions have much meaning. He reinterprets everything and he’s always talking about love, and how we’re all one with God, how everything we’re searching for is within us. Yeah. You can imagine how well that goes over. So… I don’t know. If you’re into religious tradition, you might not like this guy.

The truth is, he makes almost everybody uncomfortable. The people who like him most are a bunch of unruly, unorganized, directionless, unproductive nobodies who were already on the fringes of society. You know… the kind who never could quite fit in. They seem to fit in with him just fine.

His family must be so embarrassed. There are some serious doubts about whether he’s even, you know, legitimate. His birth timeline is a bit sketchy, let’s say. Then—after all that—he’s not a good son, not a good brother. No family of his own—doesn’t look like he ever plans to settle down and get married or have kids. It’s like he doesn’t take his family duties seriously.

He’s just doing his thing, and nobody gets it.

It’s not a career, that’s for sure. He worked in the family business for a few years, but then he took off. He has no goals, no plan, no savings, doesn’t own any property, and doesn’t seem to care about any of it. It’s the weirdest thing, because he’s super intelligent, charming, bold, a natural leader. He could be successful at anything, really.

I don’t really understand it, myself.

It can be frustrating to hang out with him. Sometimes he disappears with no explanation. Sometimes he gets us run out of town. There’s always a lot of gossip and speculation and drama following him. Some of it’s probably true. It’s like he has no regard for the system. You can’t ever get him to give you straight answers. He won’t explain himself. I mean—he talks—he just doesn’t make sense sometimes. But it’s fascinating anyway. He simply doesn’t care at all what people think about him. No fear at all.

He might actually be crazy, but I don’t know.

There’s something about him.

Something special. New. Unpredictable, for sure. Maybe crazy. Maybe nothing. Maybe nothing but trouble.

So different, though.

So different, like the flavor I’ve been missing my whole life. But familiar, haunting, magnetic: like a song I’ve known but couldn’t remember.

Let me know what you think. If you don’t want to, I totally get it. He’s a weird one, that’s for sure. But I think—well, I don’t know, no pressure—but I think you might get along.