Thursday, July 05, 2007

Un-Sweetened Jesus

Sweet Jesus.

Sweet little Jesus boy.

"My Sweet Lord."

There's an indie film titled "Sweet Jesus." You can get a "my sweet Jesus doll." It's so cuddly.

A sculptor caused a religious uproar by crafting a naked, 6-foot crucified Jesus out of chocolate! Talk about sweet!

The last adjective that comes to my mind to describe Jesus is "sweet." Having rummaged around in the four Gospels for some years now, I can think of a lot of good adjectives for Jesus, but sweet leaves a sour taste in my soul.

I prefer Salty Jesus. And I don't mean salty as in "salty language" (profanity). Jesus was high potency salt. He even describes his followers as "the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). Why do we try to be "sweet" people?

You don't call someone who terrifies the daylights out of you "sweet." Jesus terrified his disciples numerous times---"It's a ghost!" they screamed. He terrified people in Decapolis by casting out a "Legion" of demons. Jesus created fear in the lives of lots of people.

You don't call someone who irritates the daylights out of religious people "sweet." The religious leaders of Jesus' day had a lot of adjectives for Jesus---demon-possessed, mad (crazy), deceiver, bastard, fraud. I don't think "sweet" ever entered their minds. "Let's kill him" did enter their minds. Do you want to murder "sweet" people?

Let's leave the word sweet out of our Jesus vocabulary. Let's keep it for Grandma, grandkids, tea, nice guys and the hip epithet "Suuuue-eeeat!"

For Jesus, I like "holy," "agitator," "rebel-rouser," "courageous," and "gutsy."

I know. "Salty little Jesus boy" just doesn't have...what?...that sweetness.



At 7/06/2007 11:25 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Sir, I think you are so right, we almost picture Jesus making everyone say "wow" what a great point every time he taught. Not so, also, I was wondering about filling a mentor in the religious world. Like a mentor for hire, do you have any advice?

At 7/06/2007 7:07 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

do you mean "finding" a mentor? Or, do you want to "fill" a mentor role? Or, do you want to find a mentor or be a mentor?

At 7/06/2007 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we should make our crucified Jesuses out of potato chips. Bet you can't sculpt just one!

At 7/06/2007 9:51 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

baby hates bunnies,
It took me a second, but then I GOT it! You're a funny one b-h-b. And, no, I can't sculpt one :)

At 7/08/2007 2:02 PM, Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

John, Good stuff here. And I don't mind salt, if you know what I mean.

But yes, your point is more than well taken. Jesus in the gospels and therefore the real Jesus found everywhere else, just doesn't rhyme with "sweet".

At 7/08/2007 2:07 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

That's a great way to put it--nothing in Jesus or his life rhymed with "sweet." Comforting, hope-bringing, life-giving, but not "sweet."

At 7/13/2007 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! We need to put the testosterone back into Jesus that we have so "sweetly" (and discreetly) removed. The effeminate "sweet" Jesus just doesn't cut it for me. I for one believe that Jesus was a real man, a man's man, not an effeminate, mild pushover. Just look at how radical his life really was. Great post!

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At 7/14/2007 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I do not get cute and cuddly out of Jesus either. I see the storming into the temple in a furious rage, sick of everyone’s complacent, holier than thou attitude Jesus (John 2:16). The Jesus who said, (Luke 9:41)”O unbelieving and perverse generation ….”, was not very cute or chocolate.

At 8/01/2007 8:19 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Yeah but--one of the funniest scenes in any movie ever was in Talladega Nights when Ricky Bobby was saying grace to the "sweet, sweet, little, cuddly baby Jesus"--I laughed til I cried, then I rewound it and laughed til I cried again--seriously though John, you should check out baby hates bunnies(potato chip Jesus) book "The Grace Project" if you want to see a contemporary portrayal of a not so sweet Jesus

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