Friday, August 31, 2007

Jesus the Prophet

A little teaser. This is an excerpt from my book project, currently in the pre-submission final revision. It is a piece from a chapter titled "Jesus the Prophet," and I have just retold Jesus's encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. (I named her Barbara, for no good reason.)
“I know that the messiah is coming,” she says. She’s dangerously close to the revelation of an explosive truth. “When he comes, he will tell us all things.”

“Lady, you’re looking at him.”

This is what a prophet does. This is what Jesus the Prophet does. He inserts himself into our workaday lives, he invades our space and exposes our heart. He tells us the ugly truth about ourselves, and yet he does so not to shame or punish us, but to open us up, to provoke us and prompt us, to disarm our defenses and turn ourselves, our whole selves, toward him. He dismantles our bland religion and hypothetical spirituality, he tears down our heartless theology and our faithless works. He infiltrates the very core of our existence and proclaims not our betterment or our improvement or our worthiness, but the glory and power of himself.

Jesus the Prophet calls us to stop messing around, to stop living our own private lives in our own private kingdoms, and he makes us reckon with his challenge. He makes us reckon with him.

Through failed relationships, through the seeking of solace in sex and surface spirituality, this person of despised race and downtrodden gender finds redemption not from a message of self-improvement or empowering spiritual enlightenment, but in the Giver giving himself as the gift. She came for a drink and got swept away by the living water.

I'm really fired up about this stuff, and the work is going well. I hope to share more bits and pieces as I progress.

5 comments:

Jen said...

Jared, I'm excited that you're doing a Jesus book. God has gifted you for teaching - what I've read through the years is solid theology that comes from a passion for Jesus. I believe this will translate well to readers of the more classic medium of books.

Will you sign my copy when it's published? ;-)

Jared said...

If being the operative word, of course. :-)

Jen said...

I'm confident - when.

JP said...

Great stuff, great thought here, wonderful blog.

I look forward to your finished work.

Blessings,

JP

Bird said...

Excellent.