The Gospel Comes with a house key




The Jesus Paradox

The Jesus paradox manifests contagious grace as practiced by ordinary people like me and you, desperately needed, especially now, in our post-Christian world.

But how do we as Christians live in contagious grace?

To see that in action, let’s move to the Gospel of John, to witness the first miracle of Jesus, turning mere water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Here, Jesus models contagious grace through a hospitality so radical, so undeniable, that a common wedding in a piddling, insignificant village becomes host to a miracle, a miracle that takes us from empty to full. The key to contagious grace - the grace that allows the margins to move to the center, the grace that commands you to never fear the future, the grace that reveals that what humbles you cannot hurt you if Jesus is your Lord - that grace is ours when we do what Mary says to do in this scene. She says to the servants (and the Holy Spirit says to us): “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).

Simple, right? No.

We cannot will ourselves into the deep obedience that God requires. We can’t obey until we ourselves have received this grace and picked up our cross. We can’t obey until we have laid down our life, with all our false and worldly identities and idols. We can’t obey until we face the facts: the gospel comes in exchange for the life we once loved.

But when we die to ourselves, we find the liberty to obey. As Susan Hunt explains, “When God’s grace changes our status from rebel to redeemed, we are empowered by his Spirit to obey him. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). Joyful obedience is the evidence of our love for Jesus (John 14:15).”

- Rosaria Butterfield