If we see Jesus only as we want to see Him, we deny the reality of His life on earth, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead. Not every image of Jesus is the real Jesus…
- There’s the Conservative Jesus—who is against tax increases and activist judges, for family values, and owning firearms.
- There’s Liberal Jesus—who is against Wall Street and Wal-Mart, for reducing our carbon footprint, and for social tolerance.
- There’s Therapist Jesus—who helps us cope with life’s problems, heals our past, tells us how valuable we are and not to be so hard on ourselves.
- There’s Starbucks Jesus—who drinks fair trade coffee, loves spiritual conversations, ueses an iPad, and goes to film festivals.
- There’s Open-minded Jesus—who loves everyone all the time no matter what (except for people who are not as open-minded).
- There’s Touchdown Jesus—who helps athletes fun faster, jump higher, and determines the outcomes of Super Bowls.
- There’s Martyr Jesus—a good man who died a cruel death so we can feel sorry for him.
- There’s Gentle Jesus—who was meek and mild, with high cheek bones, flowing hair, walks around barefoot, and wears a sash (while looking very European).
- There’s Hippie Jesus—who teaches everyone to give peace a chance, imagines a world without religion, and helps us remember that “all you need is love.”
- There’s Yuppie Jesus—who encourages us to reach our full potential, reach for the stars, and buy a hybrid.
- There’s Spirituality Jesus—who hates religion, churches, pastors, and doctrine, and would rather have people out in nature, finding “the god within” while listening to ambiguously peaceful music.
- There’s Platitude Jesus—good for Christmas specials, greeting cards, and positive thinking while inspiring people to believe in themselves.
- There’s Revolutionary Jesus—who teaches us to rebel against the status quo, stick it to the man, and blame things on “the system.”
- There’s Guru Jesus—a wise, inspirational teacher who believes in you and helps you find your center.
- There’s Boyfriend Jesus—who wraps his arms around us as we sing about his intoxicating love in our secret place.
- There’s Good Example Jesus—who shows you how to help people, change the planet, and become a better you.
And then there is the real Jesus. He is not a reflection of the modern culture or the projection of our own desires. He’s not just another good man. Not just another prophet. Not just another teacher. Not just another miracle-worker. Not just another example to follow. Not just another historical figure. He’s not a genie who grants wishes for what we want. Jesus is not who we want Him to be.
He is the Eternal Son of the living God (John 1:1-2, 18). He’s the Creator of the universe – both seen and unseen (John 1:3). He’s the Light of the world (John 1:4-5, 9). He’s the Savior of the whole world (John 1:10-13) for those who believe in who He really is (John 3:16-18). He’s full of grace and truth (John 16-17). He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He willingly died to complete the Father’s plan of salvation (John 18:28-30). He powerfully rose from the dead (John 20:3-9, 26-29) that we might be forgiven of our sin and have eternal life (John 20:30-31). That’s the real Jesus.
Follow me… as I follow Him.