All around us everyday in politics, Christian and mainstream media, and in personal life examples, we see Jesus portrayed. The tragic thing is He is often not portrayed for who He really is. The image put forth of who Jesus Christ is, what He says, what He believes, and how He wants us to treat others and live in this world is often not accurate and has nothing to do with what the Bible says about Him, or even what He said about Himself! His very words are many times not quoted or represented for what they are, but with spin. Here is a synopsis of the most popular versions of “jesus” – followed by a description of the REAL Jesus, from His own words…
“The Tyrant Jesus” – This jesus preaches a hard message of condemnation and judgement to all “sinners.” You must live in fear of this jesus, who will act out in rage and anger, even to the point of causing environmental disasters to you and your communities, if you do something wrong and live in a “sinful” lifestyle. Forget unconditional love, mercy and grace – that is reserved for those he likes, who follows his strict code of conduct. He puts the most emphasis on outward holiness and is most concerned with people keeping a list of do’s and don’t’s.
“Jesus The Elite” – This jesus measures your success and your holiness on the amount of worldly goods you own and money you have in the bank. Your net worth is the main indicator of how holy you are. His main concern for your continued success and growth as a person is that you keep yourself from the company of the poor, wretched, dirty, unsuccessful and mostly all those who shop at Walmart. According to this jesus, those people are in that situation because they have done something wrong – they either don’t have enough faith, or are in sin. Your amount of blessedness, holiness and righteousness, after all, reflects in the clothes you wear, the car you drive and the house you live in…building up great treasures on earth is a high priority.
“The ‘I Don’t Care’ Jesus” – He is there for you when you need him…but could care less what you did today, or even this year, for that matter. This jesus is detached and unconcerned with your daily life and how you live it. As long as you aren’t murdering or committing crimes against others, you’re all good. He does not hold you accountable for your actions, doesn’t care if you understand his word or share your life with him, or even call him Lord. Just bring him your Christmas list once a year and he’ll be there. Other than that, he offers no security.
The REAL Jesus…
If the different jesus’ above don’t quite feel right or are unsettling, that’s GOOD! They shouldn’t, because they are false – they are man-made spins and gross distortions of the Word of God and the words of Jesus. So what did Jesus REALLY say about himself…his beliefs, how we are to treat others, what we should most value? Don’t let us tell you…read for yourself! Click on the link of each verse to go directly to that verse.
Luke 4: 16-19 – His mission
Matthew 5:3-12 – What and WHO He blesses
Mark 7: 5-23 – What he says about outward righteousness
Luke 14: 7-24 – What he says about associating with the poor and humility
John 13:1-17 – His attitude and command of what our attitude should be
Matthew 11: 28-30 – His description of himself
Luke 22: 24-27 – What he says it means to be GREAT and successful
Matthew 16: 13-16 – Who is he?
Thank you to Wings of Life Worship Center and Pastor David Forrester as well as Rob Bell ministries for the references to this blog.