(This is an exceprt from my book coming soon: God's Wild Romance: The Divine Love Story.)
I love the real Jesus. I am not talking the religious figure who most of us have heard stories about; not the mild-tempered man who led sheep aroudn with a staff. No. I'm talking about the warrior. The Jesus I know was the William Wallace of his day: strong, brave, a real man's man. He was a regular guy who worked with his hands yet was one of the greatest leaders and orators in all of history. He was a fisherman, a fisher of men, a carpenter, a King.
Jesus was the friend of sinners and the father of saints. He defended adulterers in public. He rallied around the unrighteous and often broke religous tradition and upset religious leaders. In fact, most of his followers were common people and certainly did not come from the religous hierachy.
Jesus shook the established economic, political and religious system of his day. This is what got him so much recognition. The fainthearted within the institution viewed him as a threat and wanted to shut him up because he spoke truth to the masses. Yet he continued to teach becasue he was impassioned with a mission.
When the Phariees accused him of being demone-possessed, he replied, "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgitve, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven . . . You brood of of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things our of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for EVERY empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:30-31, 34-37 NIV) Harsh words spoken by one man to en entire religious instituion. Audacious! That's my Jesus!