The Holy Fool

The Holy Fool

Jesus Christ, Y’shua Messiah… the wild card in the pack, the court juggler of grace and truth. He was easy to describe, and impossible to understand. Some of his names were Rose of Sharon, Lion of Judah, Lamb of God, Morning Star, Stone of Stumbling, Root of David, Lilly of the Valley, Great Shepherd, Suffering Servant, Cornerstone, Man of Sorrows, Alpha and Omega, Bread of Life, Living Water, Bridegroom, Captain, Rabbi. Jesus seemed partial to Son of Man, a sort of Mr. Everyman, a Mr. One of Y’all. Somehow even that grocery list of titles still doesn’t quite capture him. Maybe he himself is the Word we’re looking for, in the flesh.

Jesus was an inconsistent, unpredictable bundle of extreme qualities. He would ignore his mother, berate the religious, forgive the adulterous, befriend the rip-off artist, kiss his betrayer, stare down a storm, call his most faithful apprentice a name from hell, weep at a death, tend bar at a wedding reception, whip the tar out of unwelcome salesmen, hug the children, touch the unclean, welcome the lepers and lunatics. In fact, many considered Jesus a lunatic, including his own family at one point. Well, they thought, if he wasn’t crazy, he certainly acted the fool.

When Jesus was tender, he seemed to almost wilt. When he was angry, there was a scary flash of fire in his eyes. And he often aroused those same extremes in others. In fact, he started his ministry by igniting his home town with flammable speech; he continued it by answering somber questions with bewildering stories which often bordered on the comic; and close to the end, he irked his accusers with unflappable silence. Throughout his life, his version of sainthood was never sanctimonious. He’s God without the trite God-talk.

In the earliest days of his earthly life, Jesus was a Savior fetus in a teenager’s womb, then soon a God who wet diapers, a Co-Creator needing to be burped, the Lord of the Universe nursing at his mother’s breast. A few years later, he was the heavenly King with seared flesh and punctured scalp, passively facing mockery and torture. It’s a toss-up as to which of those two mysteries, the Manger Messiah or the Dead God, are the most incomprehensible and scandalous. One thing for sure, in both cases, this man Jesus seemed to be a helpless fool to the unknowing. Fortunately, his last juggling act, of life and death, brought the house down. And better yet, he is promising an encore for the ages that we will die to see.

One Reply to “The Holy Fool”

  1. What an incredible quote: “…which of the two mysteries, the Manger Messiah or the Dead God, are the most incomprehensible and scandalous?” God seems to enjoy giving wisdom to fools and making fools of the wise.

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