Jesus Chose the Gritty

The Scriptures are filled with the ruggedness and struggles of actual life. But in our teaching of the gospel we have sweetened or repressed the universal human qualities of our Lord’s stories almost beyond recognition. Jesus evidently talked about the things like people’s sexual escapades and crooked business deals to illustrate his message about the reign of God. And he furnished additional wine for at least one celebration. Read the parables. With the whole of human behavior from which to select, Jesus chose the gritty, earthy areas of life to illustrate the way God loves people. He was real! He expressed his own uncertainly and doubt in the midst of his faith. And he got very angry. Jesus talked about the same deep separation, dishonest and inner restlessness we experience in modern life. I had always heard the church saying the God prefers the poor, the despised, and the weak… Religious people have difficulty admitting that (Jesus) prefers sinners to the righteous. Those who call themselves righteous are not free from it but have repressed it. Those called sinners are aware of their guilt and are, for that reason, ready to receive pardon and grace.

Keith Miller, The Becomers