I saw this recent video of Troy Palamalu pretending to be a wax figure (or a statue of some sort). You see the different reactions that each person has when they realize that he is actually in their midst.
It seems that much of Christianity is viewed this way as well. We try and dissect to study Jesus in the Bible but often fail to realize that He is alive and well and in our midst today. While it is funny to watch Troy surprise people, it is tragic for the Church to be shocked that Jesus is walking among us.
But what does this actually mean? What does following a living God change compared to a God that can be figured out from the past? It means that none of us can be experts on Him. We will never know all there is to know about Him. And none of us can know what He will do next.
I remember a particular class I had in college where our professor broke us up into groups and gave us the task of boiling down which five books (or some number) of the Bible we would keep if we had to lose all of the other ones completely. Which were the essential books above all others? As you can imagine, a roaring debate ensued. Passions flared. Disagreements abounded.
The conclusion of the discussion? None are essential.
While that may sound terribly blasphemous, the reason why it is true is because Jesus is alive in our midst today. We have Him! I’m not discrediting the Bible. I’m simply pointing out the fact that we must fight the temptation to make the Bible into an idol and to keep our God in a safe box.
For some, this may not be an appealing thought. Some may prefer a safer version of Jesus at a distance. A Jesus that doesn’t cause us to ask questions.
For me, I’ll gladly take the raw and dynamic living Christ. I’ll gladly invite God’s Spirit to live inside me and direct me each day into the unknown.
So study Him passionately. But don’t be surprised that He is with you while you do it.