C.S. Lewis gives us such a wonderful picture of both the fierceness of Jesus and the meekness of Jesus in his classic tale Chronicles of Narnia. When he wanted to symbolize Jesus, Lewis created Aslan the lion, and not just any lion, he’s the King of Beasts and the real ruler of Narnia. Mostly unseen because he is always on the move, Aslan is powerful and yet kind, gentle but fierce. He is to be feared and revered and honored and trusted.
In one of the most famous bits of conversation in the whole series, Lucy asks the beavers, “Is he safe?” “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking,” Mrs. Beaver replies, “they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“So he isn’t safe?” asks Lucy.
To which Mr. Beaver replies, “’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King,
I present this narrative for it reminds me of how the Church has presented a lopsided Jesus to an unbelieving world. Throughout the history of the Church Jesus has either been presented as a stern judge that shows no mercy, but only has condemnation to offer when all the rules are not followed to the T.
Or, Jesus is presented as all love with no justice or fierceness or power, but a weak sentimental Jesus who will overlook and excuse our sins as mere mistakes.
No, the Jesus of the Bible is both the fierce lion as presented in the Chronicles of Narnia, and the humble servant, as presented in the gospels, who washes his disciples feet.
My plea to the Church and to the individual Christian is to approach all of the Bible's teachings with balance---we have such a tendency to overemphasize any one particular teaching of the Bible. Let us strive as the Apostle Paul warns, not to shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), and as Jesus gave his parting instructions to his disciples when he told them that they were to teach others' to obey everything that he commanded (Matt. 28:27).