Rock Star JesusPosted: February 2, 2012
This notion came to mind as I started working on Sunday’s sermon (which I am now taking a break from and procrastinating). At this point in Mark’s gospel, Jesus is firmly in what I like to refer to as his “rock star” stage. People are swarming around him like he’s Tom Brady at Super Bowl media day. They want to touch him, be near him, and feed off his holy aura. He can’t even get away to pray for five minutes before his disciples come looking for him. He’s like Daniel Radcliffe at a Harry Potter convention or SpongeBob at an elementary school assembly.
Jesus is huge! He’s bigger than, um, the Beatles. And I can’t help but think about how tempting it must have been to just revel in his own popularity. It’s good for the ego to be a wildly popular celebrity. Sure, you can’t exactly slip out unnoticed to pick up some beef jerky at 7-11 but that’s what you have flunkies, I mean disciples, for.
Of course, that’s not why Jesus came into the world. It wasn’t to become the Big Man on Campus. It wasn’t to have more followers on Twitter than Justin Bieber. Jesus came into the world to usher in the very Kingdom of Heaven. And that means there’s no time time for him to sit around and enjoy the fruits of his success. He’s off to proclaim the Good News to more and more people. He’s on a world-wide tour staying at only the finest hotels. At least if you consider a five-star hotel to be somewhere you can’t lay your head. And if by “world” you mean points around the Sea of Galilee.
Thus wordly success is shunned to pursue his uniquely divine call. Form a PR point of view, that too bad. But from a salvific point of view, thanks be to God.