Crazy, crazy, crazy.

June 11, 2008

I pretty much live my life at Starbucks. I think I fulfill every life activity there that is essential for human existence, including eating, drinking, sleeping, talking and studying God’s word. Today something else happened. A man named Mohsen decided to ask me about my laptop computer today. Mohsen is another customer at Starbucks. I’ve never talked to him before, and quite honestly don’t remember him being in the store before. But, today he saw me with a Bible and laptop computer open. We had a short little discussion about how I like my Mac – and how I value the ease of use that comes with it vs. a PC. That conversation was short lived because he notice my Bible and asked about it.

I ended up asking him if he has read the Bible and he said no – not really, but he has read verses from it. This was really cool. You see Mohsen is an immigrant form Iran. He has been in our country for at least 30 years and was happy to tell me that anybody who reads and believes the Koran is a good person because they don’t commit crime. He added, that he supposed that if you read the Bible and did what it says you also wouldn’t commit crime.

Hopefully you are smiling at this point – I sure was. I ended up telling him, that his opinion might be true – but for me, I try my best not to commit crime, because it doesn’t please Jesus. And then I continued to tell him that while the Koran is good because it stifles crime, Christianity and the Bible are different because it’s all about what you do with Jesus. I said that while the Koran admits Jesus was a prophet, I told him that the Bible teaches that Jesus is God. Jesus points us to this conclusion and tells us that he is God.

Mohsen replied, “where does it say that, I believe there is only one God.” Then I opened The Book to John 1:1 and read through verse 18. Mohsen’s face changed. I pointed out that the Word who was in the beginning and who was with God and who was God, put on human flesh – became a man and lived with us. Talk about a crazy idea.

I don’t think Mohsen was familiar with that idea. In some way, I think he saw me as a little crazy – God in human flesh? Are you serious? There is only one God, why would he become a man?

This Gospel is crazy – God in human flesh. God in human flesh. Words forgotten, passed over, and just accepted. Men like Mohsen recognize what those words mean. For some like Mohsen, they are crazy words. For others, they are words of hope, words of promise and promise fulfilled. For others, they are words to be accepted. Acceptance has no place in our faith. Words to be accepted are ideas and motivations that are lost to apathy.

While the whole story of the Gospel wasn’t presented to Mohsen,
the foundation of the Gospel was.
God in flesh.
The story of religion instantly changed for humanity.
What crazy thing will God do next? 

He will give himself for man – that man will not have to earn His favor – but trust in the grace already extended.
God in flesh – Jesus Christ, perfect, holy, humble, executed substitute for our punishment.
May you be  reminded today that God’s grace cannot be earned or awarded, but was already extended to you in Christ Jesus.
God had to become man for you and your sin.

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