Scandalized | John 4.27
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” John 4:27 | ESV
And just then his fledgling disciples showed up again, food and supplies in hand, and they couldn’t believe he was sitting there talking with a woman like this. Right in front of Father Jacob’s well and everything. Scandalous. Totally. But yet not one of them asked, “What are doing? What do you need? or Why are you talking with her?” They just thought it. MAV
Jesus scandalizes people.
And if we are truly interacting with him, he will scandalize us. I think most of us like the idea of a scandalous Christ as long as he is scandalizing other people – because, obviously, it’s everyone else that needs to be scandalized, right? But not you and me. No. Of course not. We are so like this with Jesus he would never scandalize us, nor would we ever be scandalized by him. So easy for us to think we’ve got him figured out, that we could predict his movements. Too bad we don’t have the awareness to realize that’s a just a Jesus mannequin we actually have on display in that religious music box of ours.
The living Christ will confuse and confound us. Whether it’s pronouncing forgiveness over a paralytic lowered through the roof, or allowing a prostitute to wash his feet with her hair, or daring to suggest that the last be first and the first last, he will defy our expectations and prognostications. He simply will not act on our cues or dance to our tunes. And so these beginners, these fledgling disciples are beginning to discover. Murmured questions and objections none bold enough to confront him with their doubts and issues (must have been an off day for Peter – he typically managed at least one good “foot-in-mouth” moment on such occasions). So like us.
The question is, will we be like them and stick around long enough to learn something from him and from our own being scandalized by him?
When most recently have you found yourself scandalized or at least surprised by what you witnessed Jesus do? What happened?
Lord, scandalize me. Challenge my assumptions about you, about Truth, about Scripture, about Church, about my culture, about ME! And give me the grace to stick around to listen, learn, grow. Through Jesus.