The story of Jacob is a perplexing narrative in its down-to-earth presentation of its chief protagonist. Jacob is not a man we would naturally look up to as a leader and spiritual hero. A liar, a coward and a trickster who gets away with being blessed by God anyway despite his moral failures – it grates against our understanding of the world. Don’t we reap what we sow?
It would have been easy to have story after story of cookie-cutter faith-heroes like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with characters that we can look up to and admire for their perfect responses to every situation. Of course, if that’s what the Bible was, it wouldn’t be real and it wouldn’t offer us the hope it does. Instead, we have a real story, with real people, a real God and a real message to us today.