who is Jesus?

In reading the Gospel of Luke straight through (for the first time in too long), I was struck with how vibrant and electrifying Jesus was to those around him. He excited people. I had dulled in my mind his impact on others, thinking his journey through Judea a calm and pleasant affair–people appreciating his healing their sick or preaching.
But in truth, this man bedazzled those he encountered, leaving them–like cartoon characters–with heads spinning 360 degrees and eyes popping out of their heads. He was young, had lots of energy, and turned the lives of others upside down. His preaching was charismatic, his smile riviting, his presence palpable.
I have spent years coming to know the Jesus of the Cross–what sort of man could willingly take betrayal, mocking, torture and death, and maintain a spirit humble as a lamb? “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;” this is the most powerful sentence in the world. It has, at the very least, taught me to surrender patiently and gently in the face of minor wrongs, physical burdens, and frustrating aspects of parenthood and home life. I feel stronger for trading in reactivity for this meekness–the paradox of forceful power being weak, after all, never leaves my mind for long.
But this spiritual lesson, valuable as it is, does not begin to capture all of who Jesus is. I am awe struck with his liveliness, his enthusiasm, and his work: his words, his movements, his choices for how to live out each day.
Over and over, mention is made of the Father and of the Spirit. His interdependence on both stands in relief. What I am left with in my new reading of the Gospel is how true life, lived out in joy and generosity, cannot be done without that vibrant, dynamic relationship with the Father and the Spirit. An active, daily encounter with all three Persons of the Trinity is the key to a Heavenly Life.