My husband and I recently watched a video series on RightNow Media led by Professor Shane Woods from Ozark Christian College. During one of these lessons, he mentioned he often got labelled one of three things because he sported long, red hair. People said he was either a hippie, homeless or a heretic. He laughed about it, and so did we. But it made me wonder if we would label Jesus Christ in those same three categories if He walked among us today?
I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, and in a general sense the word hippie, also spelled hippy, to me meant;
-someone who lets their hair grow long (particularly men),
-wore bell-bottom pants and psychedelic-coloured casual clothing,
-painted flowers and peace symbols on their skin,
-lived and ate simply off the land,
-and rejected the social norms of the present society.
When my boys were teenagers, they would look at pictures of me as a young woman and declare me a hippie! This made me laugh because I never really considered myself one. But to them, the long flowing hair, bell bottoms and casual dress code screamed, “Hippie!
Jesus also wore long hair, lived simply off the land, and in a communal style with His disciples. He preached peace and rejected the religious and social norms of His time. As a rabbi, he did not dress in the traditional garb that separated Him as one, but as a simple man.
Jesus Christ, as a grown man, had “no place to lay his head.” (Matt. 8:20, Luke 9:58 NIV)
He had no home of His own, but wandered from town to town, with His disciples. They had to rely on the charity and hospitality of others. Other times they may have had to fish or hunt for their food and sleep in the open.
This lifestyle caused Him to be reviled and mocked. Rabbis did not live this way. The religious leaders lived a life of comfort in houses and dressed in special robes.
“Blasphemy, in a religious sense, refers to great disrespect shown to God or to something holy, or to something said or done that shows this kind of disrespect; heresy refers to a belief or opinion that does not agree with the official belief or opinion of a particular religion. (merriam-webster.com)
A heretic is someone who speaks heresy.
The ruling religious leaders accused Jesus of being a blasphemer. Today, some would call Him a heretic.
The leaders and Jews of Christ’s time did not know or believe Christ was the Son of God. They judged Him by His outward appearance and His humanity. And because the leaders did not want to lose their power and the people did not want to acknowledge their sin, they chose not to believe the truth of what they saw and heard.
Jesus Christ was none of those things. He was the hero.
In all the popular superhero movies, the Superhero lives a life disguised as a normal human. No one knows who they really are except those closest to them. But when people are in danger, the Superhero changes and exhibits their superhuman powers like flying, immense strength, x-ray vision, climbing walls, etc. These movies are so popular because everyone wants a hero to save them from this crazy life.
Jesus is the real hero of humanity. He exhibited supernatural powers; raising people from the dead, walking on water, healing the lame, blind and deaf, and expelling demons. But Christ displayed His greatest (true) power when He rose from the dead, giving all who believe in Him access to God the Father and eternal life with Him.
So, who do you believe Jesus is in the depths of your soul? Hippy, homeless, heretic or hero?
It is easy to judge someone quickly by their outward appearance. But before we rashly judge Jesus, let’s take a close look at His life through the pages of scripture in both the Old Testament and New Testaments. The whole Bible tells His story and our need for a Hero.
Easter is not just a pleasant holiday to celebrate spring, get chocolate and feast with our family, although they are all good things. But the truth of Easter, the best thing, is that Christ came, suffered and died for our sins to save us from ourselves and the Enemy’s lies. He is the only One who can save us from this crazy life and give us a new one. He is THE Superhero of all time.
6 thoughts on “Hippie, Homeless, Heretic or Hero?”
Interesting! Now I’m picturing Jesus with bell bottoms. Thanks sister – keep on speaking truth.
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Ha, ha! You’re welcome!
I liked the alliteration! …and the message!
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In fact even now, Jesus IS “the least of these brothers” to whom you and I might give a drink, a meal, our guest room, some medical care, or visit in prison. In other words, a stranger to whom we might show hospitality to this very day. And like it says in Hebrews, don’t fail to show hospitality to strangers because some have entertained angels unaware!
That is exactly what Abe and Sarah do in Genesis 18. It is exactly what Cleopas and friend do at Emmaus (Luke 24) – but of course the Stranger is revealed to them when they break the bread.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
What would it be like if God went on a TV talk show? Wanna see for yourself?
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