The Challenging Christ
Carol Iannone talks about a painting of Jesus she saw:
There is no halo of course, no artificial glow, no effeminate aspect, no gushing compassion, no indiscriminate forgiveness pouring forth in unconditional love. This was not the Jesus who, as one Episcopal bishop insisted, accepts us even in our "fat slobby selves." This Jesus is rather more challenging than comforting. This is a Christ with standards, I thought half jokingly, a Christ for conservatives!
A Christ who sized you up, maybe the way he sized up the chatty Samaritan woman at Jacob's well or the rich young man who thought so well of himself. Where are you now, viewer, he might be saying, what's going on in you, are you ready for me? What are you holding onto, what worthless baggage are you carrying so that you can't come my narrow way? You couldn't think of anything petty while in the purview of that calm, knowing, intelligent, and potentially redemptive gaze. Read the whole article