Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I am in love with a renegade.

A maverick.

An outlaw.

Yes, I love "The Hub" dearly – and he would undoubtedly fill those categories. We tease him all the time that he should have been born in 1854. He's a whole lot of Jeremiah Johnson (the consummate mountain man), a touch of Butch Cassidy, with a liberal sprinkling of Virgil Earp in there…

But he's not the one I'm talking about.

I'm talking about Jesus.

I just finished reading a wonderful book (in my humble opinion) called "Beautiful Outlaw" by John Eldredge.

Eldredge talks about the very real Jesus that we encounter in the Gospels. Let me tell you, THAT Jesus is not the Jesus that the world thinks they know. Eldredge subtitles his book, "Experiencing the playful, disruptive, extravagant personality of Jesus."

Doesn't that sound delicious?

You know, to me, if you don't know the true Person of Jesus, then the real meaning of the Incarnation kinda fades. It will become just a nice picture of a cherubic baby who came into the world, meek and mild – only to grow up into a Jesus who was a kind and gentle man, who sweetly taught people "good lessons."

If you don't know the true Person of Jesus, you only know a two-dimensional cardboard imitation of the real thing.

Listen to what Eldredge says:

"Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off."

Yeah, Jesus on mute.

This book has me pondering…especially at this time of year.

Exactly WHO was born in that manger??

Not a wimp, that's for sure. Not someone boring. Not someone easy.

If you read the Gospels, Jesus is someone wonderful. He is exciting and unpredictable. He hates the status quo. He angers the "religious" and loves sinners. He is sometimes clever, sometimes sarcastic. He is always intelligent. He doesn't fit into any stereotype.

He is dynamic and charismatic – and quite honestly, a bit unmanageable.

I like that in a Savior, don't you?


I have lately been gripped by a new fervor for the Person of Jesus – it's overtaking me. I have been captured by the Son of God – real, uncontainable, thrilling.

I am reminded of a scene in the book "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (from C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia). One of the children, Lucy, has never met Aslan (the Lion who is Jesus). Listen to this conversation:

"Is he – quite safe?" [asks Lucy].

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good."

Later, Mr. Beaver also says this: "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."

You know, I love a rodent who speaks the truth!

So, you see, as I think about that baby in the manger, I'm taking a new look at exactly what happened there, and exactly who was born. Yes, it happened quietly, only in the presence of Mary and Joseph, in an obscure and lonely, dirty and dingy place.

But oh! God might as well have hurled a cosmic thunderbolt to earth!

A comet of salvation slammed into earth that moment, and life would never be the same again. The dark and lonely world had been struck with the Lord of Light, and Satan's kingdom had been invaded. Look out – the Almighty Son of God took His first breath, and Life itself began!

I'm sure the heavens shook.

It just gives me goosebumps.

Now, the enemy does his best to keep the real Person of Jesus hidden from us. The enemy tries to convince us that Jesus is weak, uncaring, restrictive – or worse yet, totally irrelevant.

No, no, no.

I will not listen to those particular lies.

The Jesus who was born in the manger came to upend the world's value system. He came to revolutionize the human heart. He came to love mankind in an impossibly sacrificial way.

He came to turn ME inside out – to interrupt MY agenda, to challenge MY goals, to disturb MY comfort – to shape and mold and prune and knead.

He came to give me HIS life.

I don't know about you, but THAT'S the Jesus I love and want to follow.

The Jesus who was born in the manger is a hero…

Do you know the REAL Jesus deep in your heart? Has He lit your life on fire?

(I would also recommend this book, along the same lines: "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Philip Yancey. Of course, there is no better place to meet the real Jesus than in the pages of God's Word.)

It's time for Joan's GRACE CAFE - come on over and join us!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. So often we think of Jesus as someone who came, taught, and died for us...and that's it. (Well, that IS enough, it is MORE than enough!) But, He was also real...He had personality, humor, emotions, strength. I want to know more of Him. I want to get to know His full personality. I think that as we come to know Him more and more, our relationship will deepen beyond anything we expect or anticipate and I'm excited about that! Thanks for some great insight this morning, Sharon!

    Blessings, Joan

  2. Oh, Sharon...let me give a loud GLORY, GLORY to your words! He is my hero...and has turned me inside out...upside down...and every which way...He is a Mighty God!

  3. My hubby couldn't find it in the library - he is going to buy that book for me for Christmas and I suspect he will read it too. sandie

  4. Sounds like a great book, Sharon. My pastor said just a few weeks ago that we have normalized Jesus (made him wimpy was his exact words). He said Jesus was nothiing like we portray him to be. I'm thinking he must have read this book too! It is good to ponder and meditate on Jesus and to reallay focus on remembering how awesome he truly is. He definitely did make heads turn when he walked the earth; our heads should be doing the same as we learn truly who he is!


  5. Love this, Sharon! Such an exuberant character sketch of Jesus - not the norm in many quarters - but, oh, so HIM!
    Miss Kathy checking in here under the Constellation Academy blog. Celebrating His presence today with five other ladies at our power-tea - and WOW He just took over our meeting and we are now a board of directors - collectively called Miss Stella! I set out the tea with no agenda other than to just let the Spirit speak in and through us - three of the women had had relevant dreams in the past 48 hours! I've added to the blog - and Sharon Sharing God is one of the first blogs I'm listing on the sidebar. Do click over and visit and check out the first post by our Beth - setting the stage for things to come . . .

  6. Ohhh yes Sharon... His Name is Jesus, Counselor, Wonderful, Mighty... Rebel, Renegade, Maverick, Beautiful Savior...
    Think Isaiah may want to include those.

    Just the whisper of His Name...Jesus...
    "He came to turn ME inside out – to interrupt MY agenda, to challenge MY goals, to disturb MY comfort – to shape and mold and prune and knead."

    He came to tame the prowling lion that devours as the Lion of Judah... Aslan!
    Isn't Mr. Beaver all so wise?

    I remember one scene from that Nativity movie that was in the background of a few songs (I think it may have been Karen's Glorious Impossible) which showed Jesus as a young men teasing with Mary and also as a child when He fell and Mary rushed to Him and then His 3 falls, when she was stunned and shocked in utter disbelief)... scenes like that impress other parts of Jesus into our thinking beyond the Jesus we study, we get to know Him, at least I have... through His Word, in His person, all of what it takes to be mortal... He encompasses all that and the immortal which makes the first even more amazing. Your words once more draw us into seeing Jesus Christ in a new light and paint some pretty vivid ideas and insights... from what you've read and what you've encountered! I just want to shout, Glory Hallelujah, Our Redeemer lives and lived and felt all we experience... yet chose to come to seek and save the lost. Can we even come close to reflecting that image and also the fruit of the Spirit and each Word from His mouth with purpose and meaning? He is the Great I am... always was, always will be... humbling to be able to call Him Friend and Hero as Our Lord and Savior. What can we give Our King? and how many Kings...?
    both of these songs ring the truth also
    of this Glorious Impossible!!!

    Thanks Sharon! I do know the REAL Jesus who continuously lights my fire and stirs my mind to wonder and imagine even more.

    Love, peace and JOY,

  7. I like your slant on who really was born in that manger....

  8. Fantastic! I was shopping today, and I meant to look for that book. I totally forgot to go into the book store. (Got sidetracked with a certain daughter trying on business suits, but I digress...)

    I love the part about watching the TV on mute. That says it beautifully. I also love what you quoted from the Chronicles of Narnia.

    Who wants a "safe" Savior? Not I.

    And if I am to follow, really follow, I have to know that He doesn't lead on the safe path. He leads on the good one. Why is it I keep looking for the safe one?

    That's all I've got tonight. I'm worn to a frazzle. Plus, I am still sincerely in "freak out" mode about the amazing work of His hands recently in my life.

  9. I feel your enthusiasm! A big amen to your post!! May we all have a renewed sense of longing for the One who came to redeem us from sin.


  10. If you want to see the stories of Jesus you've heard all your life come alive in a new and refreshing way, this is the book for you. John Eldridge does a fantastic job of helping you see the personality of Jesus in a way you may not have ever considered. He helps you take off your stained glass vision to see who Jesus was as a man. This book will cause you to want to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus as you experience his rich personality. This book takes Jesus out of the stained glass, off of the flannel board, out of the church building and into reality.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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