Grace is Scandalous

Here's a Thinklings two-fer.

First, go read the incredible story of a man who's mother was murdered by the next door neighbor's son. What's incredible isn't the murder, it's the grace offered by the family of the victim.

Yesterday at her funeral, her son offered to pay for the defense of her killer. ... He said that he was following Jesus' teachings: loving his enemies, forgiving others, and doing unto the "least of these" as he would to Jesus. The radio host said, "Jesus is my Lord and Savior too, but all I would want is 5 minutes alone with the guy." "Yeah," Mr. Barrios said, "but you'd be doing it to Jesus."
Wow. There are only a few comments on that post, but the tone shows just how even believers can find grace scandalous and ridiculous to the point of tossing it out. Not possible or even worth considering. Except that when they need it, they're glad that Jesus offered it.

The harsh responses to the story prompted Jared to share this post on the audacity of grace which he originally wrote in the midst of a particularly hard time in his former congregation, when their popular minister was let go.

Imagine you are one of the early church's first members. You are sitting in a home with a few other believers, sharing a meal. You pray together. You sing a few Psalms. Someone recites a bit he's heard of Jesus' biography. Then someone gets up to read a letter to you from some guy named Paul.

Paul is a guy who used to go by the name Saul. It's possible he is responsible for the murder of someone you know, perhaps even your parents or one of your children. Now you have to sit and listen to someone read not just words from this guy, but instructions from this guy. Since his conversion from Christ-hating enforcer of the Law to card-carrying Jesus freak, he's not just one of your fellow Christians. He's an authority over all Christians recognized by nearly everyone.

It is possible this arrangement would not have sit well with you.

Go read them both, but if you must choose make sure you read the second one.

Grace is what makes Christianity different. It's what makes us whole. It's what makes everything OK when it absolutely shouldn't be OK. It's exactly what we need and exactly what we could never expect to receive. It's a ridiculous solution to a tragic and insurmountable problem. When all seemed absolutely lost, grace saved the day. Grace puts all the crazy endings to all action adventure movies to shame, both in it's efficacy and it's audaciousness.

We need reminded. We think too much that Christianity is a nice, straight forward religion. It's not because at its core is a God who took the audacious step of suffering Himself to redeem those who had wounded Him. It's even more scandalous than the victim's family paying the legal fees of the murderer. In our trial it's the prosecutor who dies for the defendant.


Thanks for the post, it gives me goosebumps.

That challenges me. I wonder if I would have the faith to forgive if I were in the same situation. Right now I doubt it. Thank you for the post.

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  • That challenges me. I wonder if I would have the faith to forgive if I were in the same situation. Right now I doubt it. Thank you for the post. ...

  • Thanks for the post, it gives me goosebumps....