Urban Dictionary is a website where you can see or create new words, phrases and definitions mostly pop culture type of stuff. For instance, today’s top phrase is ‘body by Mattel’ defined as a ‘female that is more plastic than human’. So, it is a place where people can express their creativity as word-smiths. The site also allows visitors to provide their own definitions for commonly used words, usually with some sort of twist, be it witty, clever, sometimes dark or sometimes opinionated. One example is a definition for the word ‘gravity’ which I submitted when it came to me one day a few years back: ‘an omnipresent force with extraordinary power that no one can see, but exists without doubt to those who place their faith in it every day – just like God.’ Of course, like everything else on-line you get to vote thumbs up or thumbs down on the definition, and from what I can tell the definitions are ranked based upon the highest ratio of approvals to rejections.
This led me one day to provide a definition for ‘Jesus Christ’. It was right after a bible study class about the time when Jesus asks His disciples ‘Who do people say that I am?’ (Matt 16:13…) Here Jesus, Himself, is asking for a definition of who He is. Well, besides the brilliance of the question, I thought that it was a good opening for me to basically plagiarize Peter’s response when Christ puts the question to him to this exchange:
“But what about you?” (Jesus) asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus replied, “Good for you, Simon, son of John! For this truth did not come to you from any human being (or Urban Dictionary), but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven.”
I thought that it was the definitive answer and expected a 100% approval rating! Maybe not as funny as the top definition** at the time (and still), but nonetheless it was irrefutable considering that God Himself had inspired Peter’s answer. Since then, though, I have also learned that Jesus Christ has different meanings to different people at different times in their lives. Sure He is the Son of God, but what does that really mean to our limited minds? And, is this really how we experience Christ once we have accepted Him as the Son of God? Is this really the relationship that God meant for us to have with His Son – Jesus up there in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father? Seems a bit intimidating. Rather, I am now seeing that in the context of what we can understand, Jesus Christ is: unconditional love, or peace, or comfort, or rabbi, teacher, friend, brother, confidant, strength, savior, soul mate, hero, sacrifice, eternity…So I guess the point here is, what does Jesus Christ mean to you? And watch how the definition changes based on your needs.
**Jesus Christ: The name Bill Cosby thought was his when growing up. He thought his brother’s name was “God Dammit”. According to Cosby’s classic stand-up routine, his father would always yell at him and his brother. Something like: “Jesus Christ, it’s raining, get in here. God Dammit, you get in here too.”
But then one day he was playing in the yard alone and his father called him: “God Dammit, quit making such a racket!” Bill just stood there looking around for his brother. “God Dammit didn’t you hear me?” yelled his father to which Bill replied, “But dad, I’m Jesus Christ!”