I often wonder if I had been alive when Jesus roamed the earth if I would have given Him the time of day. While it’s easy to assume that our Lord had a magnetism that captivated everyone who crossed His path or that He was a celebrity who was widely accepted by society, this really wasn’t the case. He hung out with sinners and outcasts, and while many paid attention to Him, their reaction wasn’t always positive. You see, our Savior was actually quite “fringy,” especially to the devout Jews. In a culture that had its own routine and bustle, not to mention very distinct religious traditions, many walked by Him lost in the busyness of their day. Still others considered Him a lunatic because of the things He taught, most of which seemed to directly contradict Hebrew law. In order to truly “see” Him, people had to take time to follow and listen to His words without quickly passing judgement or writing Him off. For just a while, they needed to surrender their preconceived notions, lay down their schedules, and allow their curiosity to lead them to His heart. In fact, though He no longer walks among us, the same is true in our lives today.
My friend, get to know your Savior anew this year. Examine the unconventional nature of His teachings: read His words, study His life, and embrace the parts of Him that make your inner-Pharisee the most uncomfortable. As radical as He was in human form, Jesus is the great equalizer, and He is the Lord of the high and mighty as well as the lowly and outcast. His cross was for everyone, and He never discriminates, nor does He yield or change in response to anything or anyone He created. By slowing down, sitting at His feet, and allowing His zeal and passion to find you afresh, He’ll bring you back to His heart, fill you with His radical love, and inspire you to pay it forward to others.