- I dig that Jesus is the perfect balance of toughness and kindness. It's become customary these days to pit the supposedly false "feminized" view of Jesus against the supposedly more accurate masculine "tough guy" Jesus. I think the whole exercise reflects more about the insecurities of our culture than anything about Jesus himself. First of all, I don't think there is anything inherently feminine about meekness, kindness, and gentleness--the fruit of the Spirit and the beatitudes are not, I trust, gender specific. Nonetheless, the Jesus who was indeed kind, merciful, and forgiving was also tough enough to rebuke the scribes and Pharisees, as well as his own disciples. The trick was responding appropriately to the occasion, which, in context, is what the wineskins analogy was all about.
- I dig that Jesus is himself, regardless of circumstances or the people who were around. One of the things that I think a lot more people struggle with than admit to it is adjusting their behavior based on who is observing it. Perhaps we downplay our faith when we're with those who don't share it, or pretend we have convictions we really don't when we're with our more legalistic brothers. There is a place and time to be "all things to all people"--i.e., to use our freedom wisely for the sake of the Gospel. But we never see Jesus putting off until a next day a person who needs healing on the Sabbath, or pulling his punches with a Pharisee, even when he's his dinner guest, or stopping short of sharing spiritual truth, even when dining with sinners. He is who he is.
- I dig that Jesus heals and does miracles out of mercy and compassion. Without naming names, some theological traditions argue that God does what he does for no other reason than to glorify himself. But I see repeated examples of Jesus doing miracles because he had compassion on someone: e.g., Matt. 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 20:34; Mark 1:41, 6:34, 8:2. Of course, these things are not mutually exclusive; Jesus doing miracles glorifies God almost by definition, and there are other reasons why miracles are done as well. But I dig that one of Jesus' primary motivations is simple compassion on people, because they have a need.
- I dig that Jesus overcame sin for me, so I don't have to. You read that right. Some of our traditions, including the holiness tradition that Pentecostalism grew out of, treat sin as something we have to overcome. Lip service is given to doing so "by the power of the Spirit," but in reality, it's treated as though it were all on us. But if we really believe that Jesus is "our righteousness, holiness, and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30)--he's not just an example, not just a means to obtain those things, but actually is those things himself--then the means of dealing with sin is not direct, but indirect: we don't simply oppose sin on our own, but draw closer to him and let him do the work in us. I think we're afraid to tell people that, for fear that people will abuse it: "God just hasn't taken that out of my life yet." Yep, some will abuse it. But by not telling them that, we rob them of one of the most precious truths of the gospel, heap guilt on them for not being able to overcome on their own, create hypocrisy because they can't admit to not having everything all together, and withhold from them the actual key that would be able to deal with sin. The gospel, quite frankly, is not about our righteousness, but his.
- I dig Jesus because he first dug me.
So anyway, my five victims (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!)
- Bob Mitton. Because he's my pastor, a close friend, and someone who needs an elbow in the ribs to write something. (Like I have room to talk....)
- Dave Porter. Best man in my wedding, longtime close friend, and most likely to come at this from a point of view no one else has thought of.
- Cecile Schooley. My wife, and of all the people I can think of, the most likely to use the word "dig" in this sense naturally. (We just celebrated our sixteenth anniversary--yaay for us!)
- Julie R. Neidlinger. Doesn't know me, although she threw me a very nice link once. I doubt very much that this is her sort of thing, but if she could be persuaded to do it, she's someone else I bet would come at it from a unique point of view.
- Stephen from Y Safle. A brother from Wales. I'm not sure if "dig" in this sense, besides being anachronistic, is actually just an American thing, so we may need to explain it to him. :-)