“Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Right away, they left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:19-20
After following Jesus for fifty-plus years, I still can’t figure it out.
Why do I take seriously someone who supposedly lived 2,000 years ago? It really doesn’t make sense. The people who wrote about him couldn’t even agree on some of the details of his teachings and the events in his life. The scientist in me screams out about the contradictions as well as the lack of objective facts. I won’t even start on the silliness-sounding of some of the things he supposedly did, like walking on water. Really?
And yet there’s something about Jesus that simply captivates, intrigues, and calls me.
The stories about him combine to paint a picture of someone otherworldly. Not in a ghostly way, but in a way that calls us to live on a higher plain and from a different perspective. How else can he call people to be peacemakers in a violent world? How else can he call people to drop the stones they were going to use to punish an adulteress? How else can he call people to love enemies when revenge was, and is still, a standard operating principle in the world?
Such things, and so many more, catch and hold me with this man. You just can’t make up someone as compelling as him. And when I obey him, I’m drawn into a life that makes this world brighter, more colorful, and less lonely.
Christian writer Frederick Buechner said it better than me:
“A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, ‘I can’t prove a thing, but there’s something about his eyes and his voice. There’s something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross—and the way he carries me.’”