Two little girls on the back seat of the car, grandmother listening in to their stimulating conversation, and relating it to me.
Younger child, obviously keen to know more about the mysteries of the universe: “Who is Jesus?”. Elder sister, eager to share
her vast knowledge on the subject, responds something like this: “Jesus was born in Bethlehem, taught people about God, chose
twelve disciples, did lots of miracles, died for us and rose again; one day he is coming back. Now, can you get your head round
How the discussion continued, I don’t know, but I had been told enough to be challenged about my own understanding of the life
and work of Jesus.
In the late 1970s the musician David Bowie experimented with writing songs using the ‘cut-up technique’. This involved cutting
words or phrases out of magazines and re-arranging them in a random order to produce a song lyric.
When I was a child (says Graham Harter, All Souls Church), that’s what I used to think the Bible was like. I thought that the
miracles of Jesus in the New Testament were in no particular order, haphazard.
Walking on water, feeding the five thousand, turning water into wine, healing a blind man - throw them up into ther air and see
what order they come down in.
Does it matter? Well, no, not really. Because surely the stories which many of us learned about at Sunday School were just a
lot of superhero tales with a religious twist, weren’t they?
Well, not according to St Mark. All the way through his Gospel, people had been seeing the things Jesus did and asking
themselves “Who is this man?”.
Finally, Simon Peter, one of the disciples, gets it! Jesus asks his friends: “Who do you say I am?”, and Peter responds:
“You’re the Christ. You’re the Messiah that we’ve been waiting for.”
Now, who do we, today, think Jesus is?
SO, ALL the information we have is there for a purpose, to lead us into a deeper appreciation of Jesus, particularly why he
came from heaven some two thousand years ago. Another writer puts it most succinctly: ‘For the Son of Man came to
seek and to save what was lost’ (Luke 19.10). Clear enough for both children and adults to get their heads round, I would
think. Or is it?
RAY DADSWELL, who produces this weekly column, attends Gateway Christian Church, teaches English in the international
community locally, as well as being a volunteer for the People Matter charity and chaplain to Eastbourne Theatres, along with
a number of other responsibilities in the Eastbourne and East Sussex area.
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