Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Jesus Character

As part of our church’s drama team, I got the text early in the week.

“Can you fill in on Sunday morning for the sketch? The girl who was scheduled has to go out of town unexpectedly.”

I agreed and received a quick rundown on the script. My director concluded with this comment, “Yours will be the Jesus character.”

Being familiar with church-drama-lingo, I understood this to mean that my character would be the straight man and the one with the right answers for the other character who would be struggling with some sort of problem or choice. The “Jesus character” is always loving, kind, forgiving, compassionate, patient, full of wisdom, and – well – like Jesus.

That particular week also happened to be a week of relationship challenges. Harsh words spoken. Unresolved issues led to a face-off, a dead end, and the ever-popular silent treatment vs. the just-get-over-it-and-act-like-it-didn’t-happen treatment.

Hey, wait a minute! I thought we were on the road to redemption!

Standing in church the morning I was scheduled to perform the sketch, the worship team lead us in song after song about the love of God until His Presence was so intense I almost couldn’t breathe. My mind, which had been mulling over the frustrating conversations of the week, became settled and quiet. Then He spoke. I heard the still, small voice.

“You’re the Jesus character.”

A heavy sigh and, “But, God…,”

“The Jesus character.”

“I know.”

Loving. Kind. Forgiving. Compassionate. Patient. Full of wisdom.

Why do I have to be the Jesus character in this real-life piece of drama? Why isn’t he being the Jesus character to me? I’m struggling, too, you know! And I’m having a real hard time with “just get over it and move on.”

I wish I wanted to be the Jesus character! I wish I could be the Jesus character! Jesus is all these things because He IS love. I am flesh and bone. And flesh.

“Help me, Father.”

There’s the crux. Someone needs to be the Jesus character. And this business of redemption is on-going and messy.

The process of redemption in relationships is tricky because there are still feelings involved and memories to deal with and life to be lived and recovery that hasn’t fully taken place. The work of redemption - buying back, releasing, forgiving, and rebuilding - all takes place in the midst of trying not to drown in the hurt of the past.

The truth is, in relationships we take turns being the Jesus character for each other every day. Some days you might be the straight man with all the right answers. Other days you might be the guy struggling with a problem or choice. We’re all in need of a healthy dose of mercy and grace. The measure of mercy and grace I use with others will determine the measure of mercy and grace that comes back to me.

Some days my mercy scoop just isn't very generous.

And I realize I have lost my focus.

THE original Jesus character– the One…

…Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom)
from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own,
people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good
and filled with] beneficial deeds.
--Titus 2:14 AMP

God – my Lord and Creator – Who said…

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
--Isaiah 43:1 NASB

Benefits I enjoy…

He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
--Psalm 103:4 NLT

My part in this whole deal…

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
    Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
--Psalm 107:1-2 NLT

Have I been redeemed by God? Bought with a price? My sins forgiven? Abundant life now? My home in heaven? Yes, I have.

But I am pretty sure I don’t thank Him enough. 

Or speak up enough. 

Or carry a big enough mercy scoop.

How about you?


Linking with:
Imparting Grace


  1. I had a friendship/relationship struggle this week too - with someone at church, no less! It takes a lot to make me angry; but I was. Then God reminded me I had been writing FB posts about "LOVE". We can't love - or be the Jesus character simply when we want to. We are called to be it all the time. But, it's hard, huh?

    1. Yes, my Friend, I have been reading your posts about love and they have been poking me. ;-) They are every bit good and true!

    2. hmmmm. yes, i could certainly use a bigger MERCY scoop, Father!! and " the ever-popular silent treatment vs. the just-get-over-it-and-act-like-it-didn’t-happen treatment". is one I MYSELF have utilized. and it HURTS!! Remind me to be the Jesus Character, and to carry a BIG Scoop!! Thanks, Calista!! BArb

  2. I love this so much. I've needed to learn this many times this past year, and you've given such a great picture for mercy. This is, to me, probably the ultimate test of faith. Are we just speaking, or can we actually live beyond our pain in order to allow God to show himself? Thank God we have a choice! You have also reminded me how I miss my Sunday mornings at Grace! :)

  3. The ultimate faith test. Yes. And sometimes just speaking is where faith starts.

  4. I LOVE this post! And I needed to read it this week. Thank you so much for linking it to Grace at Home--I'm featuring you this week! God bless you!

    1. Thanks for stopping and for featuring my post this week. I am always glad when someone is blessed by what they read here.

  5. Being Jesus certainly is not easy! I'm just trying to let Him be Him through me to those around me at all times. Is that the same? That isn't easy either!

    1. Janet, yes, we are talking about the same thing. And you are so right, it is not easy. I like how you put it, "let Him be Him through me." As we are faithful to stay close to Him, He is faithful to give us what we need in the moment. It is God Who does the transforming work of making us more like Jesus. Thank you for stopping by and taking time to read and add your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  6. I just found this on your home page, Calista. I'm sending a "shotgun" prayer to the "God of the Angel Armies" (THE MESSAGE) THAT His ministering angels will change things to take your difficult circumstances away. I'll pray for a bigger scoop for me too.

  7. Nice blog.Thank you!


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