Hijacking Jesus

Here’s the thing –

Lately, I’ve been hearing all kinds of conversations describing the followers of Jesus.

Like a vicious version of the twelve blind men and the elephant – I’ve heard the talking-heads describe people of faith

as bigots, haters, misogynists, war-mongers, jingoists, chauvinists, xenophobic, homophobic, sycophants who believe in archaic fairy-tales and conspire to construct a future that looks something like the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

And I’ll confess I’ve responded with a variety of reactions from fear to fretting, from anger to angst, from defensiveness to discouragement, from frustration to fault-finding. It hasn’t been pretty inside my head and when that happens, I’ve learned to stay quiet until Jesus sorts it all out.

I mean, honestly, I can see some truth in what gets said. The grace of Jesus Christ is lavish and inclusive. He lets anyone into this great family of His – I’m proof of that – and none of us has our acts together (sort of pre-requisite to admit that, of course.)

We sometimes act in ways that don’t reflect Jesus out of immaturity, remnant sin, or lapses of faith.

Some of us err by presuming on grace while others err by clenching our jaws around God’s laws. You see, when we start following Jesus, we’re immediately forgiven, promptly accepted, instantly included, but only just beginning our journey of becoming like Him (remember Princess Diana for the first two years after the royal wedding? Oh yeah, that wasn’t pretty. But in the end, she was more royal than the rest!).

Other false impressions of Jesus-followers stem, frankly, from false followers – people who just aren’t. Now, they may be deceived, or they may be deceivers, but either way, they leave a bad taste in people’s opinions that taints their trust of Jesus when in truth, they haven’t encountered Jesus at all!

And then, there are just those who hate Jesus-followers because they hate Jesus, and this is to say, they don’t necessarily think they’re hating Jesus – they just love their sinful ways more than they can imagine loving anything or anyone else – and so they justify falsehoods, rumors, and destructive half-truths all in the name of what they know as freedom (though that is only because they’ve never experienced the real thing there, either!).

It’s enough to dishearten a simple Jesus-follower and boy, I’m the simplest.

But then, I heard someone lament that there are those attempting to hijack our faith. And that was scary for about thirty seconds until I imagined someone trying to hijack Jesus – and that made me laugh aloud!

Can you imagine the poor outlaw who attempted to hijack Jesus? Jesus would probably be really quiet for a while, watching the criminal at work, all the while loving Him and not at all afraid because how can you really frighten someone who’s been crucified, died, and risen to eternal life?

How can you frighten the One who created you? My goodness, you were His idea in the first place! He’s counted the hairs on your head and certainly knows what drives you, what you long for, what you dream about, how you’ve been wounded, and what your heart cries out to receive.

And suddenly, I wasn’t afraid of this whole conversation that’s been happening. I’m not worried about what to say or where it will wind up. All at once, I’m fascinated, again, by Jesus, and I’m wondering what He’ll do in response and how I can be a part.

Because, when I went beneath the waters of baptism, I died and when the minister pulled me out, I rose with Jesus, again, to eternal life so you can’t frighten me either – even if you try to hijack my faith.  I don’t like the wild ride, but when I remembered that Jesus is here beside me, I remembered you can’t take me anywhere He won’t be.

And I don’t have to defend Him – He defends me. And I don’t have to hate you, because He’s freed me to love. And I don’t have to fear you, because He is my courage. And, in fact, I believe you may find yourself captivated by the One you’ve tried to take captive.

Maybe other religions can be hijacked – they probably can because they were originally driven by humans with no true claim to deity -but Jesus? No way. He’s so real most of the world can’t handle His kind of reality.

Trying to hijack Jesus? Friend, brace yourself. You’re in for a wild ride yourself.

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6 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Kathleen says:

    Love it! Great encouragement to get our eyes off the hyjackers and focus on the One who has no fear of any of it!

  2. Doris says:

    AMEN!! Great article ~ thank you.

  3. Thank you for reminding us how free we are in Jesus! Stunning!

  4. Debra Johnson says:

    Amen! An excellent word…. God’s ways are not our ways… And His thoughts are not our thoughts…as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways and thoughts higher. Those who know the truth and truly follow Jesus know He can’t be hijacked. We’ve got to keep our eyes on him!

  5. I really enjoyed this. Thank you for sharing – and I hope it encourages and calms other hearts as it does mine. Blessings, Love and Laughter to you!

    PS If you check out my website – you’ll notice it is woefully out of date. I’m completing my book project and haven’t concentrated on any other writing for awhile!

  6. Charla says:

    Now that will preach; wait. It already did 🙂