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Stories of Jesus

Chapter 4: The Stories

Part One: Jesus before Easter

A Jesus story: Going everywhere, but nowhere home

Jesus’ action of going to people’s houses and eating with them spoke even louder than his words. It wasn’t what people expected of a charismatic religious figure. John the Baptist was more typical. He stayed in the wilderness areas along the Jordan River, eating locusts and wild honey and dressing inappropriately for social occasions. And people came to him by the hundreds or thousands.

Jesus’ preferred mode of operating was to go where the people were. He was less comfortable when crowds came to him. Luke records that large crowds assembled after Jesus performed a miracle. They were hoping that they too would be cured of some ailment or at least be in on someone else’s good fortune. But Jesus withdrew to a secluded place to pray. (Luke 5:15-16) Another time when people begged him to stay, Jesus left saying he must preach the good news to other towns. Jesus didn’t set up shop and say “Come to me.” Instead of established figure, he enjoyed the role of wandering preacher. (John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus, p. 346)

Thinking about the main point: If this is the situation of Jesus and if Jesus (not John the Baptist) is our key to understanding God, then what is God’s abode? We think of the universe as God’s world. Is it possible to think of a non-possessive God, a God who doesn’t care to have things belonging to him but instead gave himself to be possessed by everything everywhere?

On to Blessed are We Poor