Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Unicyling for Jesus

After being booked for not cycling in the cycle lane, cyclist Casey Neistat proves (with great comic timing and enviable stunt work) that the law of the New York cycle lane “Thou shalt keep to the  cycle lane at all times” is completely unreasonable.  Casey believes that it is not just for the New York government to penalize people for breaking a law which cannot be kept.  And (depending on your view of God) it may or may not surprise you that Jesus acts very much like the New York government in his sermon on the mount. 
He sets up the law as we know it “you have heard it said do not commit adultery” and we think “yep, check, I can do that.  Of course I can marry someone and not have an adulterous relationship on the side; I’m a good person after all.”  But instead of patting us on the back, Jesus goes and throws a massive roadblock in our way.  If you have ever lusted after someone then you have already committed adultery with them in your heart.” and it causes us to think “hang out on a minute Jesus, that can’t be right, I do that quite a bit.; I think  you’re being unreasonable here”.  Yet he doesn’t stop.  You have heard it said ‘love your neighbourand hate your enemy’ but I say love your enemies”. And then tops off this section of his sermon with “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect”.  It’s just ridiculous!

Well ridiculous maybe but definitely a death blow to our self righteousness.  In our video what causes Casey Neistat’s anger?  His self righteousness.  After all, he’s the good guy in this scenario.  He cycles to work for crying out loud!  It’s the holy grail of transportation!  How dare he be punished for breaking the law when it’s clearly impossible to keep the law!  And doesn’t Jesus make us angry with him too after reading his words?  “What’s the deal God?  You gave us all this law to keep and yet as soon as we think we are getting there you throw all these roadblocks in our way! You know, that’s just mean!  It’s not fair!”  
Like a good Pharisee Casey Neistat went away justified that his standard was more righteous than the government’s and therefore he was going to find a way around the law until the city could make it keepable for him.  It’s tempting for us to be good Pharisees too and do that with God’s law.   But the purpose of Jesus doing this with the law is not for us to find a workaround but in fact to come to the end of ourselves and cry out “how then can we be saved?” and Jesus answers this question at the beginning of his sermon “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God”.   

In other words; the kingdom of God (eternal life and everything good that comes with it) is given to those who are spiritually bankrupt; those who are nursing the bumps and bruises that come with crashing into the impossible requirements of God’s law and have finally realized their need for a spiritual ambulance service with a giant bloody cross on the door.


  1. As usual you have me thinking!! xx Nik (shows as anon cause I'm too lazy to set up an account)

  2. amazing thoughts from Jesus