Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. (Carl Swifty?) Each of these characters is a superhero, and it's their names that tell us why. The name Jesus, however, tells a different story.
-From Ch. 6 ("Everyman") of Jesus Journey
Trent made me uncomfortable in chapter six. Even his purposeful title of "Everyman"—it made me pause.
The reason why is that I'm an individualist.
On the Enneagram, a system of understanding different personality types, I'm a strong four. As a four, I'm expressive and I strive to be remembered as unique. The idea did not sit well with me that my almighty God—to whom I have devoted my days—has a "boring" name like Jesus.
"According to first-century Jewish historian Josephus, the name Jesus was one of the most common names of its time, a bit like being called John Smith today." (Jesus Journey, pg. 55)
If God would have asked me, I'd have suggested something more fantastical and authentic-sounding, like Aragorn.
But I am thankful for my discomfort.
Because Jesus Journey has reminded me that it's better that Jesus is not a stained-glass superhero, nor a master carpenter who made rocking chairs before his time.
In reading, I realized that, naturally, I side with the throngs of expectant people who wanted a Messiah who was strong, unique, and commanding—someone who would deliver God's people from Roman rule in the way that was expected.
But this "everyman"—Jesus—even though he made heaven and earth... he's approachable.
He's not a cosmic, remote God on a cloud. Rather, he holds my hand and laughs and cries with me.
Jesus loves me, common me, who spends a whole lot of time trying to be special.
Today's guest post is by Stephanie Pekrul: Stephanie and her husband Luke have been living with their family in Nicaragua since 2009. "Steph" is an elementary school teacher passionate about seeing how curiosity can impact families in their community of Léon. Steph and Luke started The Curiosity Circle to help more Nicaraguan children succeed at learning and to gain the confidence needed to help their communities thrive.
Photo credits: Chelsea Hudson