I have a feeling that any Christian reading the title of this article might be appalled but I really like this title, so we are going to stick with it. Since we are doing things weirdly, I am also going to alter my writing structure for this particular piece and talk first about the purpose of this article.
My sincere hope in writing this article is that you will begin to see more and more that God is interested in the mundane parts of your day. That God sees you struggle with choosing between black or brown shoes for the perfect corporate look and he is very much concerned about your sleeping habits. More than anything, I pray that when you are done reading this, that your daily activities become brighter because you finally see God’s light in all of it. Amen.
A quick summary of my Christian life – born in Nigeria, I am no stranger to religious intensity and that means that I tend to think of Jesus and the gospel in two very distinct ways.
First, Jesus as saviour.
This is the more popular stance of the personality of Jesus in which we see him give his life on the cross for our sins. This Jesus is the one we focus on as we sing songs of love and pour praise like poetry every Sunday and in our daily prayers. I see this Jesus as the one I run to when I am weak or scared or tired. Jesus as saviour is my lifeline and he always comes through.
The second is more unpopular – Jesus as Lord.
This personality of Jesus is where I am reminded that Jesus is no less God than the Father. He is Heavenly Royalty and is deserving of all the worship that we give him. It is this Jesus that comes to mind when I sin or when I forget that I am not surviving on the power of my will. He is also the Jesus I hand over to when the devil comes at me with all his nonsense.
Either way, I am always thinking of Jesus in this light and as I read through the gospels, I unconsciously look out for these. I see loving Jesus in the story of blind Bartimaeus and conquering Lord in his command to raging storms, “Peace be still”.
I see a forgiving saviour in his decision to dine with Zacchaeus and a judge Lord in his fury when the synagogue was used inappropriately. It was always one or the other, but I do believe that God is helping me see through a third and different lens.
This process started as I watched the third episode of a brilliant television series called, “The Chosen”. It is based on the life and times of Jesus but as it is made to be a series, it does something that all the former movies about Jesus could not do – it actually shows glimpses into the ordinariness that Jesus had to deal with it.
As I watched this particular episode, I was drawn to two scenes where Jesus would lay down to sleep and he would pray these words “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings sleep to my eyes”. This might sound absurd but as I watched this scene played out the second time, I was struck by the fact that Jesus had to sleep while he was on earth. Of course, I subconsciously knew that, but I had never given it much thought till that day.
It is important that we notice the words I used; Jesus didn’t sleep only because he wanted to but because he had to. He was completely human which means he got tired and needed food and rest regularly.
Seeing Jesus, the saviour of my soul and the conquering Lord of all things visible and not visible in a seemingly ordinary position of sleeping was a bit startling for me. I was taken aback that Jesus had to basically go through things I would consider inconsequential so that when the time was right, he would do something I cannot do for myself.
As I thought about this, I realised that the bible addressed this in the book of Hebrews:
For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.Hebrews 4:15 (AMP)
Jesus knows exactly how it feels to be human. He knows the feeling of sand on your feet and how satisfying it is to wash it off and lay down at the end of the night. He knows how the smile of a child can literally make a day brighter.
He knows that wine tastes good and can get one drunk when you over-indulge. He is 100% human in that he faced every temptation that comes to man and he is 100% God in that he did not give in to any sin.
Why does this make me happy?
To know that Jesus can relate with the ordinariness of life that Monday brings after Sunday means he can walk with me through the lows as much as he can walk with me through the highs.
In simple terms, Jesus is not appalled when I am weak at the knees as my crush walks into the room. Nope, he can walk with me through that. Jesus is not disappointed when I want to over-indulge in eating because I am sad or happy. Nah, he wants to walk with me through that feeling. Like David said so beautifully,
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,Psalm 24:4 (BSB)
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
I hope this has brought you much joy as it has brought me. However, I would like to conclude with this analogy I learnt recently. I believe one of the most popular phrases in the Christian faith is what we are to accept Jesus as.
We say almost every day when people are called to salvation that we are to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour. For the longest time, I have considered this ageless description and the words of Saviour and Lord have grown to mean so much to me.
However, I have recently begun to consider the third word there, personal.
Jesus comes into our heart first as personal. He comes first to establish a relationship with us individually.
If I know anything about relationships, I know that both parties have to have some things in common and Jesus does not break that rule. Jesus left his throne to go through the ordinariness of life as a human for 33 YEARS AND SOME MONTHS so that he could have that in common with us.
That is love at divine proportions and it makes me giddy!
I hope that my thoughts were shared clearly. I hope that when you have to deal with something that doesn’t neatly fall into your relationship with Jesus as Saviour or Lord, that you remember there is a third option – Jesus as personal.
Jesus too had to deal with the ordinariness we deal with from day to day and he actually found a fool proof way out of practically every temptation.
This would mean that to navigate life with Jesus as personally as you want means you can lead a victorious Christian life in EVERY facet of your life.
Even in ordinary things.