The other day, Prudence had a question that she posed to her mother and I. It involved gaining permission for something and we needed a minute or two to talk it over. We launched into parent “code mode”, you know how that works. You spell. You point. You nod. You grimace. Prudence has been around for seven years now. This was not her first rodeo. “I know that look!” she announced. “That is the look parents use to communicate when they don’t want the kids to know what they’re saying.” I have to admit… it worked better when she was younger.
We often disguise things that are too complicated for others to comprehend. I was in the middle of a discussion with my wife, and we were talking about allegiance… allegiance to the church – indeed, allegiance to God. Amanda mentioned that there seems to be a lack of respect for Jesus… we reduce Him to a manageable size. We talk about our relationship to Him with words like, “Me and Jesus.” (Notice the “me” comes first.) “Jesus is my home-boy” is expressed as a popular sentiment in some circles. There is a reason why we feel we can bring Him into our level of operations. We know Jesus as a man (he walked the planet – found in appearance as a man.) He set aside His awesomeness in order to put on skin. He stooped low – on purpose, so that we could relate. But, the 33 year old carpenter on a cross is only a disguise. God was in skin. Months earlier He had revealed a glimpse of His glory on the mountaintop with Elijah and Moses. He glowed brightly there, and for a moment, we caught a fleeting peek at what exactly was contained in that human form. But, the disciples, while appreciating the view, did not comprehend its meaning. Since they had never known Jesus in this light, they likely considered the two prophets to be the source of the glow that splashed over onto Jesus.
Suppose you were at your child’s first soccer game on a Saturday morning and the parent standing next to you was none other than the President of the United States of America. He was there watching his own little one play. The two of you exchange pleasantries. You discuss parenting, youth sports, the weather… After the game you head for the car and say to yourself, “What a normal guy!” But, he leaves the game and resumes his duties as leader of the free world. He laid aside his power for a short while to be a “normal guy” but back in the Oval Office he is authorized to lead the nation.
Jesus set aside His power in order to become like us. He appeared normal. His followers had no idea of the authority He wielded. He had set that aside. As a result, His followers vacillated. They were in – they were out. Just like us. Their perspective on Jesus was colored by the level of their interaction. They met Jesus the carpenter… Jesus the rabbi. His miracles astounded them for they didn’t know how an ordinary man could make things happen supernaturally. They had no idea that within the human body was the Creator of the universe, the bright, Morning Star. Therefore, they found their allegiance was thin, and their loyalties were stretched.
Jesus is not interested in being your home-boy. He did not come to increase your swag. He is the Ruler of the Universe. Paul wrote it to the church this way, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Perhaps if we see Jesus for who He truly is – we will find our allegiance to be rock-steady. It’s good to have a king.