This Sunday: Blessed are the Silly

June 12th, 2015 | John Chandler


This extended quote from Dallas Willard will give you an idea of what to expect this Sunday as we discuss the teaching of Jesus known as “The Beatitudes.”

The sad truth is that many people around us, and especially people in their teens and young adulthood, drift into a life in which being thin and correctly shaped, having “glorious” hair, appearing youthful, and so forth, are the only terms of blessedness or woe for their existence. It is all they know. They have heard nothing else. Many people today really are in this position.

If you judge from what they devote time and effort to, you have the stark realization that to be fat, have thinning hair or a bad complexion, be wrinkled or flabby, is experienced by them as unconditional personal condemnation. They find themselves beyond the limits of human acceptability. This is a fact about them, regardless of how silly it may seem. To say, “How silly of you!” is not exactly to bring Jesus’ good news of the kingdom to them. 

Instead, Jesus took time in his teaching to point out the natural beauty of every human being. He calls attention to how the most glamorous person you know (“ Solomon in all his splendor”) is not as ravishingly beautiful as a simple field flower. Just place a daffodil side-by-side with anyone at the president’s inaugural ball or at the motion-picture Academy Awards, and you will see. But the abundant life of the kingdom flowing through us makes us of greater natural beauty than the plants. “God who makes the grass so beautiful— here today and tomorrow burned for fuel— will cloth you ‘minifaiths’ even more beautifully” (Matt. 6: 30).

This is the gospel for a silly world, all the more needed because the silly is made a matter of life and death for many. Sin, for that matter, is silly. If the kingdom did not reach us in our silliness who would be saved? Lostness does not have to wear a stuffed shirt to find redemption.

So we must see from our heart that:

Blessed are the physically repulsive,
Blessed are those who smell bad,
The twisted, misshapen, deformed,
The too big, too little, too loud,
The bald, the fat, and the old—
For they are all riotously celebrated in the party of Jesus.

Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy