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When Jesus Was Misunderstood

The Christian calendar is an interesting animal. It is an attempt to, among other things, retrace the life of Jesus each year. The Bible readings and liturgy in worship carry us along this journey. The life of Jesus is a lot to try to cover in a year, and our calendar can be particularly jarring in winter. It can feel like we just got through Christmas. We just celebrated his birth. Yet, here we are picking up the story as he’s nearing the end of his life. It’s Lent. We’re not quite ready. We didn’t see this coming.

Maybe that jarring feeling is completely appropriate. The people who encountered Jesus near the end of his life had the same jarring experience. They weren’t quite ready. They didn’t see this coming. They misunderstood him. For every one who grasped his purpose, his message, and his love, there were a hundred who had no clue. This contributed to the friction and anger surrounding him. It precipitated his execution.

Lent continues to be about misunderstanding. Only now, it has a great deal to do with the extent to which we misunderstand ourselves. The season of Lent invites us, every year, to take a sober, serious look at who we are in relation to the gospel of Jesus. Are you the person you’re meant to be? Am I? This task requires you and I to understand ourselves as best we can. During Lent this year, we’ll share a sermon series called “When Jesus was Misunderstood: Wisdom to Help Us Understand Ourselves.” We’ll take a look at encounters when Jesus was taken the wrong way and find the light to see ourselves more clearly. Let’s grow together this Lent!