Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This Same Jesus - Accept No Fakes

When Jesus ascended into Heaven angels came down and spoke to the followers left standing on the hillside.

Ac 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Our theme today is "this same Jesus." Unfortunately, Christianity is full of those who have taken the name and image of Jesus and have co-opted it for their own purposes. They have taken the shell of the image of Jesus and have filled it with qualities, concepts, and character traits that are either foreign to the gospel's account or  an exaggeration of it.

Paul warned us about these people with a hint of sarcasm in 2 Corinthians 11:4. He says, "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." That's where the sarcasm comes in. Of course Paul didn't want them to put up with someone preaching a newly defined Jesus.

Today, throughout the world there are those who are producing a Jesus to fit themselves instead of aligning their lives to fit the Jesus of the Scriptures. The Jesus of the Bible has been manipulated like play-dough to  take many forms over the years. Some try to make Jesus into: the hipster, the cool guy, the party boy, the one who only knows love and nothing else, the wimpy Jesus, the hippie Jesus, or the white man Jesus complete with blue eyes, blonde hair and movie star good looks. There are as many perversions of Jesus' true character as there is human imagination.

Want to know the real Jesus? Isaiah describes him (53:3) "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." This Jesus doesn't make the glossy pages of the magazine or the giant movie poster very often, but this is a part of who He was.
 Here's the problem: Jesus shoved into our mold is becomes an idol made in our image. He becomes a man of our imagination rather than the God-man of the Bible. You can follow "another Jesus", but in truth you are really only following yourself.

The Apostle Paul said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" (Phil 3:10) Paul wanted to know "this same Jesus" not a modified version of Jesus that would fit comfortably into Paul's lifestyle.

That brings me to another point. The character of Jesus is brought to life throughout  the Bible. All Scripture points to Jesus. To contain the definition of Jesus' person and character to the four gospels is to poorly describe our Saviour.

Today we need to determine to learn, know, and  follow the Jesus of the Bible, not simply the Jesus that we like to imagine in our own minds.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.