It depends on what God you’re talking about

“Was Jesus God?” by Mark Strom

N.T. Wright responded, “Well, it depends on what God you’re talking about.”

Because most people when they talk about God talk of some capricious, removed, abstract being somewhere who throws rocks, who doesn’t get connected or involved.

“If that is God, then ‘No’ Jesus was not God.” But this is the wonder of the Gospel, it turns the question around: What kind of God could become Jesus?

Don’t start with God in the abstract, but with Jesus in the concrete.

What kind of God could actually be Jesus?

This God could put on eyebrows and kneecaps, tear ducts and saliva glands. This God could be born under the tyrants Augustus and Herod. This God could accept the smells of shepherds and the extravagancies of political emissaries. This God could grow up under foreign domination, and among terrorists and outcasts. This God could start life off a hunted vulnerable child born into scandal. This God could sit in the street playing marbles. This God could wear with pride the calloused splintered hands of an honest workman building the houses and fixing the furniture of half casts, outcasts, and bigots. This God could ask his cousin to baptize him along with the rest of the crowd.

This God could make the best vintage Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon even when the guests were too drunk to know the difference. This God could befriend a bloke in a tree with “small man’s syndrome.” This God could enjoy a woman of questionable character washing his feet giving her his full and undivided attention and ignoring the eye rolling of lawyers and theologians. This God could spend a whole night making a whip to crack over the backs of con-artists who rip off the poor. This God could wrap the greatest truths in the simplest stories and put a sting in the tail of every yarn. This God could let himself hang on a tree, nails tearing at his sinews, blood, faeces, and urine running down his legs. This God could invite women to be the first to know that he was back. This God could delay his own glorious homecoming long enough for a bite of breakfast on the beach… with an old friend to let him know that there were no hard feelings and to pass along his mantle. This God could take his own story and give it the most surprising ending.

This God, this God is worth knowing. This God could reach into the crevasses of my soul to bring to life the longings I smother so pathetically and recklessly with shame and excuses. This God could raise me up to life with Him. This God could give me every blessing that he could give himself. This God could draw me out of my petty self-interest without a hint of a tut-tut, a frown, or a patronizing smile. This God could me more infuriating and fascinating and gobsmaking than any God that I could ever make up. This God could love my obsessiveness and overlook my forgetfulness. This God could laugh and cry with me and come play with me. This God could make me His glory. This God could love me. This God could trust me. This God could never be safe, but always be good. This God is worth knowing. This God I want to know. This God I know in the face and the spirit of Jesus.


3 thoughts on “It depends on what God you’re talking about

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s