One of my favorite quotes in literature comes from The Chronicles of Narnia, from C. S. Lewis’, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, where the Beavers are describing the great lion, Aslan, to the children. "You’ll understand when you see him." Mr. Beaver said.
“But shall we see him?” asked Susan.
“Why, Daughter of Eve, that’s what I brought you here for. I’m to lead you where you shall meet him,” said Mr. Beaver.
“Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.”
[C.S. Lewis illustrated by Pauline Baynes. The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (New York: Harper Trophy) 79-80]
Sometimes I wonder if we underestimate Jesus. Do we see him as the Lamb that was slain for the sins of the world? Or do we see the Lion of the tribe of Judah who will one day take back the universe and rule the nations with a rod of iron? Do we see him as a teacher, a good man, even a prophet? He is all of these and so much more.
He is gentle and kind, humble and compassionate. He is fierce and mighty, strong and invincible. Words cannot contain him or describe him adequately. He is the ultimate artist, musician, storyteller, master, shepherd, warrior, prophet, prince, priest, and king.
He is a lamb - the Lamb, the Spotless Lamb.
He is a lion - the Lion, the Greatest Lion.
He is not safe. Not by any means. And while we may know him and trust him, we should never underestimate him. We should never think he is powerless or that his patience means he will remain forever silent. He is the God who sees all, knows all, and controls all. We may not always like it, but we must not forget that He is God.
Following Him will cost us everything. Because He is not safe. But we are safe if we are in Him. Because He is good.