Karl Barth, one of the twentieth century’s most famous theologians, was on a streetcar one day in Basel, Switzerland, where he lived and lectured.
A tourist to the city climbed on the streetcar and sat down next to Barth. The two men started chatting with each other. “Are you new to the city?” Barth inquired.
“Yes,” said the tourist.
“Is there anything you would particularly like to see in this city?” asked Barth.
“Yes,” he said, “I’d love to meet the famous theologian Karl Barth. Do you know him?”
Barth replied, “Well as a matter of fact, I do. I give him a shave every morning.”
The tourist got off the streetcar quite delighted. He went back to his hotel saying to himself, “I met Karl Barth’s barber today.”
That tourist was in the presence of the very person he most wanted to meet, but even with the most obvious clue, he never realized that the man with whom he was talking was the great man himself.
It reminds me of Mary Magdalene’s reaction on Easter morning. In her grief, she thinks the man she is speaking to is the gardener. It is not, of course. Until Jesus called her name she did not realize that she was speaking with the risen Jesus.
And, of course, it reminds me of that scene on the road to Emmaus, when later that same Easter day, two of the disciples walk for a while with the resurrected Jesus, and they, too, had no idea with whom they were conversing.
Thanks to King Duncan and thanks to Josh Sorenson for the Photo.
When was the last time that YOU realized that YOU were speaking with the Risen Jesus?
TRUE LOVE CARRIES YOU CLOSER TO JESUS!!