This comic strip is an extension of the questions “Who do you say Jesus is?” and “Do you believe Jesus is who He says He is?” These go together because how you answer the first question may not necessarily be the same as how you answer the second question. For example, you may say “Jesus was a great teacher teacher” (or Rabbi as in John 1:38, 49), but you may not believe what Jesus said about Himself, things like “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”
For a Bible passage to go with this comic strip, I was a bit lost. You see, I am at times a bit lost, and I feel that other people are a bit lost too. I think, “If I really believe that God became flesh and dwelt among us, if Jesus really is the Christ, the Son Of The Living God,” then my life should be radically different in some way. And likewise, if the church as a body across denominational and regional boundaries really does believe this, then the church should be radically different in some way. (Like without any teams or divisions…A church body where nobody is left out. Nobody.)
But I’m not always seeing that.
The characters in the comic strip seem to be so sure that if only God would come and walk with them, everything would be different and better. Yet this is set in the same time period that Jesus Christ actually did just that. For a companion Bible passage, I finally settled on this parable that Jesus told about a rich man and a poor man in Luke 16:19-31. It just seemed to best summarize what I’m feeling about all of this.
I had always considered the parable to be about believers (Lazarus, the poor man) and non-believers (the rich man). Now I’m wondering if maybe it’s not about me too as I think about how the parable ends.
“…He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:30-31 (NRSV)
If I really and truly do believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, shouldn’t that radically change how I conduct my life? How I treat other people? How people who believe as I do build a community of faith?
The beginning of a radical change, I believe, just might be spending some time with just Real Life Jesus in the cool of the evening.