Back when I was a child, Grandma used to ask my two cousins and me what we wanted for Christmas. Legos, some electronic gadget or sports equipment were the usual answers. Never clothes. Our tastes changed as we grew older, though, and our requests began to reflect the wants and needs (mostly wants) of typical teenagers. So, it shouldn’t have been a great surprise to Grandma when the oldest among us asked for a record album recently released by a popular rock band.
I can just imagine Grandma standing a few steps inside the entrance to one of those giant record stores that used to grace every respectable mall in America—handbag in hand, staring wide-eyed at the sea of wooden bins filled with vinyl discs while teenagers of every sort picked through them. As she later retold, a clerk saw Grandma standing there and asked if he could assist her with something.
“Yes, young man. I need Foghat Fool for the City.”
Having trained to be helpful, the clerk answered, “Would you like to hear that before buying it?”
“Nope. Just put it in a bag.”
My grandmother didn’t have a perfect understanding of what she was asking for, but she loved her grandson and trusted that whatever was in the bag was good.
Jesus said some pretty crazy things during his life.
Consider this small sample:
- “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)
- “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16)
- “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3)
- “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
- “…the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” (John 16:2)
- “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” (John 16:16)
But perhaps the strangest thing Jesus ever said might be his statement about communion:
- Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.” (John 6:53-56)
Grandma was comfortable loving and trusting, and Jesus asks the same thing of us. Love Him. Trust Him. And when it comes to communion, He doesn’t ask us to fully understand it. Instead, He simply says, “do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)