The World Said No

By: Brian Robertson

Want to understand a bit more about why Jesus of Nazareth was in his life and remains today so powerful for people?

That insight, I believe, doesn’t lie in the repetition of various creeds and dogmas, and especially not in the emphasis on Jesus’ death to the exclusion of his life and teachings, a mistake that has characterized much of Christianity for many, many years.

I think, instead, one must ask a very simple question — what would it be like for you, who you are and as you are, to have encountered Jesus amidst the dust of the road or the cool of a mountainside?

jesus paint

In curing the paralytic Jesus appears again as the affirmer, the one who gives life, frees us for action, and says Yes to us. Look back for a moment. His first miracle is turning water into wine so that the party can go on. The individuals who come to him often feel awful, guilty, ashamed. Magdalene kneels silent at his feet. Jesus says You have loved much, you’re OK. A leper comes before him seeking cure. Jesus touches the leprosy and says Yes, you’re OK. The woman taken in adultery, or the Samaritan woman who had five husbands, or the noisy children who annoy the apostles, appear before him not knowing what he will say. He says Yes, Go in peace, you’re OK. St Peter has betrayed him, and meets him after the resurrection, unsure how he will be received. Jesus says: I know you love me, feed my sheep, you’re OK.

This is the central moment of the soul from which arises the Christian journey. It is to know that no matter what you bring to the table, no matter how the World has said “No” to you, God’s Love will say, “Yes.”

– Brian Robertson