Familiarity breeds tame faith (and lame faith). Are you familiar with the parable of Jesus we call “The Good Samaritan”? Even if you can’t recall the story, you probably associate it with hospitals or “Good Samaritan laws.” Something about being nice to random people.
But Jesus isn’t telling a nice-guy story. His “parables” are stories he made up to teach something. Many of them are confusing, kind of like zen koans. Some, like the Good Samaritan, were disturbing to those who heard. (Do you know the one where he says, “Use money to make friends”?)
We’ve made Jesus’s teachings familiar, and so we’ve made them safe. Sanitized, plastic Jesus.
But Jesus is not safe. Grab a friend (or group of friends) and re-read a gospel. As you read, ask yourself: “Is it confusing? Is it disturbing?” If we are not being confused or disturbed, then we may be missing the real teaching.
Chad Estes leads us into confusing and disturbing territory by retelling the parable of the Good Samaritan. Go read his version of the story. (Leave a comment — tell him Jon Reid sent you!)
You may discover a wild, untamed Jesus… and then what will you do?