This is the testimony of John, “The Son of Thunder,” from the island of Patmos on Easter Sunday, that also happened to be April Fools Day. John looks an awful lot like Peter . . . and rather foolish.
John shared his theory as to the authorship and setting of the Revelation.
He said that he wrote it! And of course, the grammar and style are different than that of the gospel, for he wrote it on a desert island, in a foreign tongue, after having a freaky weird vision.
Later, he wrote the gospel and employed spell check—a fellow named Luke. He claimed that his gospel is so unique because his vision reminded him of many things that Jesus said and did which Matthew, Mark, and Luke forgot . . . or conveniently put out of their minds.
Back in the day, they all thought that Jesus was something of a “loveable fool.” But it turns out that He is a fool for Love. He is the Word of Love.
After Easter, it was like April Fools Day every day for forty days.
One day Jesus pranked the disciples and threw a lavish fish party on the side of the sea . . . even as He laughed, you could see the fresh wounds in His hands and feet.
He didn’t deny pain, and yet, on Him, it was transformed into joy.
He said, “In this world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer; I have conquered the world.”
John shared that this was the meaning of the Revelation.
In other words: stop taking yourself so seriously and start taking Jesus seriously—Jesus, The word of God and Judgment of God.
The Judgment of God is to bleed for you and for all creation. To take the Judgment seriously is to forgive every creature in Heaven and on earth and under the earth… John says that he saw the Judgment of God: a Slaughtered Lamb standing on the throne.”
“There is no way that you can stand in the presence of God, and be proud,” said John. In other words, “There’s no way that you can enjoy Heaven unless you’ve learned to laugh at yourself.”
There is no way that he would’ve enjoyed the fish party, said John, unless he’d first been humbled by Jesus’ death and resurrection—After fishing all night and catching nothing, he would’ve been offended at Jesus and all His miracle fish.
Jesus means, “God is Salvation.” And so, He is the Judgment on the illusion that you are salvation. That illusion is called, “the ego.”
Jesus said, “The first will be last, and the last will be first.”
If you’re proud, that is not in the least bit funny.
If you’ve surrendered your ego, it’s hilarious.
If everyone has surrendered their ego, it’s a party that will never stop.
That party is the New Jerusalem coming down. Her gates are always open.
Outside are those that refuse to laugh at themselves, those that insist on paying for that which can never be bought, those offended at the Judgment of Grace.
Jesus makes all things new, but you can’t meet your new self until you’ve learned to laugh at your old self.
Don’t worry. That’s why Jesus came.
Faith in you is Jesus in you, laughing.
*Sermon discussion questions are available here: Discussion Questions “You Can’t Be Serious”
Image credit: “Joyful Jesus” by Lindena Robb (www.lindena-robb.com.au)