At the time, some Pharisees came and told him, “Go, get out of here! Herod wants to kill you!” He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look! I’m driving out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work.’ Yet I must travel today, tomorrow and the next day, because it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem!
In this section of scripture, Jesus is a human I know. This jaded pragmatism, this honest acceptance of the futility of life, this exhaustion with the day to day. I know this Jesus and I love him for it. I think this Jesus might scare some, because this Jesus is not wearing rose-colored glasses. His glass is not half-full. If you allow yourself to see it, his sarcasm is heavy, possibly even bordering on bitter. He is not feeling patient with people or sympathetic to their worries because he is cognizant of the picture they can not see and miffed that they can not see it. Of course, I’m projecting some of my own emotions and perceptions on this Jesus, but don’t we all do that any time we read his words and attempt to make any sense of them? This Jesus is the grocery store clerk who knows that someone will yell at them today over a 25 cent coupon and their boss will scold them for getting them and doing what the customer asked. This Jesus is the barista who made the absolute worst mistake and used whole milk instead of two percent and the entire coffee shop will hear them being berated. This Jesus is the tired parent, sighing as they’re yet again interrupted, with their ideas being finished for them, as they always are. This is the Jesus that knows what his job is, knows his job will be the same tomorrow, and that someone, somewhere will want to kill him, regardless of where he is working. This is the Jesus who is rolling his eyes when no one can see him, hiding behind his coffee mug during meetings so his smirk is replaced by a more socially acceptable action, and crying in the bathroom because it’s the only place to be alone for a few minutes of aromatic silence. This is a Jesus we all know, because we’ve all felt these similar feelings of monotony, listlessness, and impotence. Accepting that we know this Jesus is difficult. If we accept this Jesus, it forces us to reconcile the reality of our pain. If Jesus was sometimes annoyed by his coworkers and irritated by his work, it checks our ideas of what being Christian means. It doesn’t mean constantly striving to be happy, always looking for a silver lining, or pretending that something bad isn’t happening when it absolutely is happening, or will. It’s not never being tired, not never losing hope, and it’s not never feeling like you’ve been given a purpose that has absolutely no purpose. This Jesus reminds us that being Christian doesn’t always feel good and it’s ok to not be ok. Jesus wasn’t always ok. That might be frightening to some, but this Jesus is my friend, a real one who is honest with me and wants to tell me about his bad day at work and hear about mine. This Jesus might cuss a little and he won’t be upset with me if he has to share my couch with 5 loads of laundry, because this Jesus knows that life is hard.