I think I am a pretty trusting person, in general. If someone on the street asks me for a buck for some food I usually believe them and give it, no questions asked. And I assume they they’re headed right over to the nearest hamburger stand and not their local crack dealer. I have yet to be asked, “Hey buddy, can you spare a couple bucks so I can buy a dime bag?”
Maybe that’s me being a trusting person; or on second thought, maybe that’s me just not wanting to get that involved. It’s easier to just hand someone a dollar, than to stop and get to know someone. Or ask them to dinner at your house. And it’s not like I handed the guy my credit card; that would be trust.
Come to think of it, I am not one to immediately trust people I don’t know. And I think that’s too bad. I’ve probably missed out on some pretty great people that way.
But I trust Jesus for some reason. I just tend to believe what he says. And I am not really sure why. Sure, he rose from the dead and performed miracles and was a pretty quick wit when it came to those showdowns with the Pharisees. That all helps me trust him, sure, but I think my reasons for trusting him are more subtle, maybe weirder than that.
I like his friends.
There are the disciples, of course. Kind of a motley crew: blue collar guys, political activists, shady businessmen, even a few aristocrats. They’re interesting, but they’re not the friends I am talking about. I am talking about the entourage he shows up with, the crew there when he first comes on the scene at his baptism: a crazy hippie, a dove, and a Voice from heaven.
John the Baptist spent a lot of his time clear out in the wilderness and yet for some reason people would trek out there to listen to him. He had a massive following, even though he ate bugs, wore weird clothes and told people they were sinners. He was interesting, provocative and humble. When he saw Jesus, he told people they better forget about him and start following Jesus. He said basically, “Compared to this guy I am nothing, so go follow him.” I think that’s amazing; says a lot about John, and Jesus at the same time.
When Jesus was baptized a dove came down out of heaven. Think about that for a moment. How weird. A dove and it rested on Jesus. Everyone in those days would have remembered how God used a dove to let Noah the flood was over and they were safe. The dove is a symbol of peace, safety. And Jesus comes with a dove and that makes me believe he may be safe, trustworthy.
Right after that, a Voice comes booming out of the clouds: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The Bible doesn’t say, but I am guessing about forty people dropped to the ground with heart attacks right then. I would have. But how cool; Jesus had his own personal PA announcer. I’d like to have that kind of endorsement every time I walked into a room: “This is Trey. He’s awesome.” Might get me a better table on a Friday night out at a restaurant. It’ll never happen, but I do think a voice from heaven makes me wonder if there is something special about Jesus.
All this makes me want to get to know him better, but also, somehow, it makes me think that I can trust a guy with friends like this.