Opening my email, I discovered a message from a young man–a friend of mine–who was applying for a job and wanted to use me as a recommendation.
He had forwarded a list of questions from the company and asked me if I would take the time to fill it out and send it to them.
Here are the questions:
- Does he or she work well with others?
- Is he or she reliable? (prompt, truthful)
- What are his or her special skills?
- Does he or she take orders well?
- Would you hire him or her?
A fascinating thought came to my mind. Even though I would have absolutely no trouble filling out this form for my dear friend, the question occurred to me–could I recommend Jesus for a job? If these same questions were sent to me in relationship to Jesus of Nazareth, what would my candid answers be?
(It’s part of understanding the Jesonian–rather than forming Jesus into our theological image which matches our doctrines, we instead take him on as he actually came, without being embarrassed by his approaches.)
1. Does he get along well with others?
Jesus seems to do well around people who are real, honest, humble, simple, flexible and aware. On the other hand, when he gets around hypocrisy, dishonesty, arrogance and a controlling spirit, he can go into a tirade. Rumor has it that he once threw things across the room because people misused the purpose of the experience.
So I would say, as long as Jesus of Nazareth is in the presence of those who are not afraid of who they are and not making up a false identity, he is a gentle brother and friend.
2. Is he reliable?
Generally speaking, you can count on him to be where he needs to be. Now, whether you can depend on him to be where you want him to be might be a different question.
Case in point: he was contacted to help a dying friend and delayed four days before going. But amazingly, upon arriving, he solved the problem.
Will he fall into lock-step and do what everybody else down the line is doing?
Probably not. But he will complete the task.
3. What are his special skills?
Jesus always contributes his part while encouraging others to bring their talent and faith, and then blends those efforts to a cooperative conclusion. I would say his special skills lie in his uncanny instinct to discern what is needed and provide it at just the right moment.
4. Does he take orders well?
Jesus is very independent–yet when he realizes that information is being offered to him that is wise, prudent and full of common sense, he marvels at it, gets behind that counsel and follows it. Even though he has great ability to lead, he does it from the perspective of his fellow-workers.
5. Would you hire him?
It depends on what the job is. If I wanted somebody to continue to follow a path which has proven to be unsuccessful, unproductive and without merit, Jesus would not be my choice.
If I wanted someone to patiently point out where things can be improved without throwing any attitude or insisting on his predominance, I could not find anyone to parallel him.
Therefore, in conclusion, Jesus probably could not get a job in mainstream America. We want people to toe the line whether it’s right or wrong.
So I sent off the completed form to the company on behalf of my young companion.
I had to smile–because there should have been a sixth question:
Can he or she be trusted?
On that one, I would say I can trust Jesus…with my life.