“Not Your Grandma’s Jesus (Come And See)”

Things bump and bounce around in my brain quite often, and this is one of those things: “Not your grandma’s Jesus.” So I figured I’d try to get it out through a comic strip.

Maybe it’s a sign that I want to know Jesus more personally? That sounds good. Maybe it’s a sign that I need to root out any outdated imaginary ideas about Jesus that I’ve been holding? That could be good too.

So what do you think? What does “not your grandma’s Jesus” mean to you? A lot is going to depend on what your grandma’s relationship with Jesus was like and maybe even what your relationship with your grandma was like. (Hmm…Maybe grandma’s not the best source of knowing Jesus, just a really good home cooked meal!)

Recently I’ve done some reading about Post-Modernism and how it has effected the way we think about things. (This came up in a post last week too.) With Post-Modernism, everything is personal and individual. In other words, you get to define what is true and right in your life. I get to say what is true and right in my life. What is true and right for you, may not be so for me. I get to decide that.

To take this one step further, each of us gets to define who Jesus is. You get to say who He is and who He isn’t in your life.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:15-16 (KJV)

Is that right? Was Jesus a Post-Modernist thinker way back then when He asked “Who do you say that I am?” Well, maybe “Yes” and “No.” So “Yes,” Jesus actually invites us to say who He is, but “No,” that doesn’t mean He’s going to change to match what we imagine. 

But what if I had never experienced a relationship with Jesus for myself? What if I only had what other people told me about Jesus to go by? What if the only knowledge I ever had about Jesus came from someone else in a second-hand way? What about that whole “Not your grandma’s Jesus” deal?

One of the things that I like about John’s Gospel is how “come and see” is used right in the very first chapter. It’s like an open invitation! “Come and see” is what Jesus said when people wanted to know where He was dwelling. (John 1:39) “Come and see” is what a follower said when someone else doubted that Jesus was someone special. (John 1:46)

In later chapters, it’s used to bring others to Jesus and also to bring Jesus to others. “Come, see” is what an outsider Samaritan woman said to her neighbors after she had spent time with Jesus. (John 4:29) “Come and see” is what the people said to Jesus when He asked where His dead friend Lazarus was laid. (John 11:34)

Isn’t it interesting that two very simple easy-to-read words “come” and “see” both begins and sustains the Christian life journey? Would it be stretching this too far to say that for all eternity we will still be saying to each other “Come and see” something about Jesus that’s more wonderful and more filled with glory than what we had seen before? 

There is one more thought I’d like to share about the question Jesus asked to Simon Peter, and to each of us really, “Who do you say that I am?” To me, that is so different from what we hear in some other religious texts and faith traditions. For some, I get the feeling it’s more like, “I’m going to tell you what’s what and who’s who.” That’s never my intention here. If Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God, then anyone who does “come and see” can find out for themselves.

As an extension of this, tomorrow’s comic strip, I believe, will be a look at “Not your grandma’s Jesus” through the eyes of some of the characters here at Nickel Boy Graphics.

6 thoughts on ““Not Your Grandma’s Jesus (Come And See)”

  1. This is one of your best posts so far, in my opinion. Gave me quite a bit to think about. You are correct to point out that Christ is who He is regardless of what WE say He is. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t seek him earnestly. I mean, truthfully, we should, right? And perhaps “come and see” was a beckoning. Like…you don’t know who I am? Well, come look! I’ll show you. Again, awesome awesome post. If I could like this 100 times I would.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I truly appreciate that! I’m sitting here realizing that there wasn’t really much humor in this one! So I was frantically getting ready to do a rework of the comic strip with Laura saying something like “Of course, ‘How To Get A Dinosaur Off Of Your Grandma’s Sofa’ would make a very nice list too!” ( I still don’t have a plot line to get the dinosaur out of their house!) so maybe I’ll just leave it as it is?!? Thanks! And seeking Him earnestly? Yes, definitely something to work in for tomorrow’s followup! Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A good thoughtful post, thank you. We do indeed live in a relativistic and agnostic age the worst side effect of which is we are afraid to argue with each other, or what the Bible calls iron sharpening iron. I need to think about this post some more when I’m fresh but what immediately came to mind was the exchange in the gospel of john (too lazy to look it up) when one of the disciples says “show us the father” and Jesus says something like “I’ve been with you all this time and you still can’t see?” Not knowing everything about God (yes, what a glorious eternity of discovery we will enjoy as you so beautifully said) is not the same as knowing nothing about God. We have been entrusted with some truth and we need to not be afraid to say what we have is true… otherwise what is there to come and see?

    Liked by 1 person

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