Last time, I said that when I read the gospels, I find a story about a person who changed something essential about the world. This person is Jesus.
Unfortunately, he did not leave any writings for us to consider. He left only a group of followers who were energized by his message and the impact of his work—especially what we call the resurrection.
As they spread the message of Jesus, they included many memories of Jesus from his time on earth. At an early date, they were written down in the forms that we have before us today in the gospels. These memories may not be accurate in every detail; they do not constitute a biography or a history, but they are living memories of those who knew Jesus. Jesus affected them, and the memories of Jesus they recount affect me as well.
I find the Jesus described in those memories to be compelling—so compelling in fact that he is the very center of my life. His words and his claims are worth everything, and that includes, for me, a life-time of sifting through the baggage.
It does not matter to me that some think that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. It does not matter to me that some think the Old Testament is filled with prophesies of Jesus. It does not matter to me that some think Jesus is the second person of some godhead. When I meet Jesus in the memories of those who knew him, I am struck; I am compelled; I am drawn. I would give my life for him.
Jesus, without the baggage, offers us a resolution to our alienation from God, from others, and from ourselves. And he gives us hope for a time when suffering of any kind no longer exists.
He said to us,
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Jesus gives us rest. He does not give us burdens and baggage.
In this blog, we will explore the idea of Jesus without baggage. We will note the great difference it makes in our life to be free of the baggage. I hope you will be part of the conversation. Next time we will discuss further Jesus’ invitation to gives us rest and not more burdens.
What do you think about Jesus (and baggage)? Feel free to comment below.