Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Respectable Types

Phillip Yancey taught a class at his church in Chicago about Jesus. He reflects on what he discovered about Jesus in his book The Jesus I Never Knew.   
"The more unsavory the characters, the more at ease they seemed to feel around Jesus.  People like these found Jesus appealing: a Samaritan social outcast, a military officer of the tyrant Herod, a quisling tax collector, a recent hostess to seven demons.
In contrast, Jesus got a chilly response from more respectable types.  Pious Pharisees thought him uncouth and worldly, a rich young ruler walked away shaking his head, and even the open-minded Nicodemus sought a meeting under the cover of darkness.
I (Yancey) remarked to the class how strange this pattern seemed, since the Christian church now attracts respectable types who closely resemble the people most suspicious of Jesus on earth.  What has happened to reverse the pattern of Jesus' day?  Why don't sinners like being around us?"

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