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Natural Jesus?

Is this bread made of natural ingredients?!

Supernatural is a misleading word concerning the work of Jesus in the world. The word "supernatural" misleads the mind and gives the impression that all the work of Jesus in the world is sensational. St. Augustine said that it is most natural to be Christian. So why should we expect that becoming a Christian would be a super-natural experience? Supernatural, no, but unusual or out of the ordinary, yes. Jesus does not work super-naturally. As the creator and sustainer of the world, we can rightly say that there is nothing more natural than Jesus. Jesus defines "natural". But it is because we are so used to seeing and justifying unnatural behavior that the behavior of Jesus seems other-worldly. It is unnatural to scream at ones own offspring. It is unnatural to divorce a woman whom you vowed to live with and whom you previously sacrificed much to be with. It is unnatural to cheat your fellow human being. It is unnatural to lust after someone's else's baby girl. It is unnatural for males to have sexual relations with males and likewise, females with females. It is unnatural to inject hallucinatory chemicals into one's own blood stream or to drink until one cannot think straight. And it is unnatural to hate someone for speaking the truth. I suspect that the word "supernatural" has been designed to assign God a role in the world that is so far above the world as to be unbelievable. We are so busy trying to justify our unnatural behavior that we disregard any behavior which shows up what we call "natural", as "supernatural" and hence, not to be expected of the average human being. In fact, many of us are cynical about the possibility that any human being could possess these supernatural qualities. Most people don't believe that human beings can save sex for marriage or that parents can truly enjoy their children even through the teen years or that marriages can stay together. Many of us want to only allow the possibility of unnatural behavior. When Jesus does His work in the world, He doesn't usually cause men to fly or walk on water (though there are many stories of those types of things happening too). Jesus restores people to "normal", healthy, human living. Jesus restores people to humanity, not to superpowers. Jesus is not super-natural. Jesus is what human beings were always meant to be. In the language of the health industry, Jesus is human being "with the mother", except in this case it is "with the Father." Jesus is what human nature is meant to be. But health may well look alien to those who are only used to seeing sickness.

Whether or not you call Him supernatural, if you want to fulfill your destiny as a true human being, consider Jesus and His way of being human. And it may be in the end, that you will find the difference between life and death so great that you too will be adding superlatives to what is by God's standards, completely natural.

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