Summary: Jesus is the Grounded Guru of Grace
Jesus the Guru October 14, 15 & 18
In the vein of talking about what the crowds are saying about Jesus, Some people would like to paint Jesus as a guru, or a spiritual guide. I feel like I need to start by saying that the word Guru would have been more than just foreign to Jesus and his followers, it would have never been heard.
Jesus was thoroughly Jewish, only leaving his home country to go as a refugee to Egypt as an infant. Some would like to say that he learned eastern ways while in Egypt, but that is to forget that refugees hold on to their culture and religion stronger than anyone else. (the Irish in Canada are more Irish than those in Ireland). Jesus Mary and Joseph were poor in Palestine; they would have been outcastes in Egypt not only would they have not gone near the Egyptian religions, those religious teacher would have not gone anywhere near them!
That said, Guru is a word that we use, and some would use it to describe Jesus now. To say “Jesus is my Guru” is similar to saying “Jesus is my Co-pilot.” These are not words that Jesus would have used, but they can be used to describe our relationship with him. Does it fit?
What is a guru?
Spiritual guide – imagine some wise man living on a mountain that you climb up to find the meaning of life. They usually answer our questions with a question, or with some deep sounding thing that we don’t understand like a direction to contemplate the sound of one hand clapping, or how the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in china can cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. And there is always a sitar playing in the background.
There are many stories about people coming to Jesus privately to ask questions about life, God and everything. Here is one of those stories, found in John 3
This is the way I would have filmed it: Jesus would have looked like Aragorn in the first Lord of the Rings movie when Frodo and his friends meet him for the first time in the Prancing Pony Pub. Nicodemus would have come hooded, not wanting anyone to recognize him, and they would have sat in the back corner speaking in whispered tones
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]"
4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!"
5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ’You[c] must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."