I recently read a couple of interesting statistics about cigarette smoking. (Don’t worry guys. This post is in no way shape or form a commentary on smoking or nicotine addiction. I’m just using these statistics to make a point. So whether you smoke or not, please stick with me for a sec). The first observation is this: More people know about the dangers of smoking today, than ever before in history. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. The second observation was this: more people smoke, today, than ever before in history. No one would argue with that statement either.
So the obvious question would have to be: If people know more about the dangers of smoking, then why in the world do more people smoke today than ever in the history of smoking?
World famous writer and sociologist Malcolm Gladwell says this: For a huge percentage of people, the initial attraction to smoking is actually the danger associated with it. The fact that the whole world is telling people not to smoke is actually the very reason people often start. The element of danger is the “tipping point”.
I don’t know if you guys have figured it out yet, but this concept applies to much more than smoking. I would go as far to say that Rock’ N’ Roll isn’t even about music. It’s about danger too. It represents everything unpredictable, unexpected, and unrestrained. At least it’s supposed to. (These days I guess the appearance of these qualities is more common than the real thing, but you get my point.) People are attracted to it because of the danger.
All this led me to another conclusion. Jesus isn’t exactly so safe himself…
He might spit in your eyes (Mark 8:23), he might call you a dog (Matt 15:26), he may ask you to do things that you can’t do (Matt 14:29), he might bring 120 gallons of wine to a party where people have been drinking all day (John 2), he may lead you to open sea in a storm (Mark 4:37), he might change your life then ask you not to tell any one (Luke 8:56), he and his friends might get arrested (John 18:12), he might offend your friends (John 6:66), he might insult the “righteous” people (Matt 23:27), he might let guilty people off the hook (John 8:10-11), he might offend his own family members (Luke 8:19-21, 14:26), he might hang out with people you don’t like (Luke 19:7), he might start a riot (John 2:15), he might use toilet speak to support a spiritual principle (Mark 7:20), he might tell you that what you’ve believed your whole life is wrong (John 3), he might use offensive language at the dinner table (Luke 11).
The way I see it, Jesus is anything but safe, but he’s never boring… And isn’t that what we really want?