Read: John 6:41-51
Meditation: “Ordinary Holiness”
Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders for a number of reasons. In today’s lesson it’s because he was “merely Jesus the son of Joseph” (v. 42 The Living Bible).
In other words, he didn’t “snap, crackle, and pop”—he was not spectacular enough to match the stereotypical image of the Messiah. He looked like a thirty-something resident of a typical Palestinian town.
One of the dangers of religion is that it approaches everything with its mind already made up. We “know” how things are supposed to be, how people are supposed to act, We even know what the “real Messiah” looks like. And as a result, we miss a lot of what God is trying to show us.
God almost always acts through paradox, and if we do not have the ability to see Reality re-packaged, we’ll end up saying, “This can’t be it”—which really means our definition of the status quo has become definitive. Or to say it another way….egotism is still in control.
God wanted the Messiah to be ordinary, precisely because the Gospel is intended to shape and direct the every-day, routine, plain-as-day dimensions of life. The most powerful aspect of Christianity is that the Word has become flesh (John 1:14), but that scandalizes all other notions of religion that demand it to “sizzle.”
We keep looking for heroes, but God is looking for humans. When you put it all together, the best thing that could have been said of Jesus was that he was “merely the son of Joseph.” It means that everything he taught is transferrable into the likes of us.