I don’t remember where I stole this picture. I’ve had it for a long time. Probably somebody else’s Facebook, but I love it.
I love, love it because it’s irreverent and it brings life to a childhood that we don’t know that much about. I mean, say what you will about the Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ. I love it in part because of its midrashy nature. Midrash is an ancient rabbinic technique for textual commentary. It takes a theme or idea from biblical text and magnifies it, illustrates it, and blows real life into it. Mel Gibson did a decent job of this in the film with Jesus’ young life.
There’s a scene in the movie when little Jesus falls down and young Mary, the new mom, rushes to his comfort and cradles him ala Pietà. It’s brilliant filmmaking foreshadowing, but it's also heart-warming. Adorable.
The relationship between Mary and Jesus doesn’t get a whole lot of attention in the Bible. She lays him in the manger. The wedding at Cana when she tells him they’ve run out of wine. Along the journey to the Cross. At the foot of the Cross with the disciple in John 19:26-27, “’Woman, here is your son.’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’”
Other than that, not much.
I love that little scene in the movie because it brings Jesus to real life, for me.
At Christmastime especially, I love the image of the 8 pound 6 ounce Ricky Bobby Baby Jesus because it brings Jesus to real life, for me.
And it’s funny!
The cartoon brings Jesus to real life, for me.
Yeah, it’s funny.
And it’s real.
Well, it may be real.
It may have happened if the walking on water story has meaning for you.
Who’s to say?
But that works for me.
That’s my Jesus.
Some people take offense to the very idea that Jesus could be so personal to you, or me. Like, isn’t he “our Jesus?” “The church’s Jesus?”
Sure, he is. He’s all those things. He’s a real-life Jesus.
And he’s your Jesus.
My Jesus, too.
So, I’m just checking on your Jesus and praying that you’re spending more time with him in the new year. Like, was that a resolution?
How’s that going?
Grace & Peace,
ps. A few years back, our own Charles Courtney translated from French some sermons from his friend and pastor, the late Louis Simon. It’s an amazing collection of 23 sermons/vignettes about—guess who? It makes for an excellent daily devotional read.
But it’s called, guess what? Wait for it.