I ran across an article that was published back in February, and it inspired the sermon for this Sunday (as well as a few to follow). If you’d like to read the article, it’s here.
All of us like to think about the Jesus who welcomes sinners and speaks words of compassion to those who are hurting. And people need to see that Jesus because some of them never have.
But there’s another side of Jesus that’s presented in the gospel accounts as well. It’s the Jesus who turns over tables, talks about “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” and calls people “hypocrites.” These two “sides” of Jesus don’t contradict each other; rather, they present Jesus as he was–a complicated Being who shows us what God is like.
This Sunday morning we will reflect on these two presentations of Jesus and think about how followers (and would-be followers) of Jesus need to think about him from different vantage points so that we learn him as he is. He is the epitome of love, and he’s also someone who makes us squirm in our seats.
And then later this month we’re going to look at a few specific examples that illustrate this “other side of Jesus.”