Jesus of Nazareth has been the most compelling figure in human history. He has been called everything from a fictional character to the Almighty Son of God. Even in the church itself, the Jesus that is preached form one pulpit can be very different from the Jesus that is taught next door. As I said previously, the Jesus I worship is probably vastly different than the one you have ever heard of before.
For the sake of the here and now, we will dispose of the insane arguments that he never existed. Don’t waste your and my time with reading any further if your in this camp.
We will even through away all the arguments that purpose he was anything else than God’s only Begotten Son. This should cover the basic beliefs of most Christian churches. If your church teaches something other than this, RUN! You need to find another church as fast as you can. You could not even define your gathering as a Christian church if they teach anything contrary to this.
Those of you who are still reading and not searching the yellow pages for a new church, just give me time. You may get there yet. You are going to end up in one of three camps by the end of this column.
1. You will agree whole heartedly and thank God that your not the only one left around who has a Biblical view of the real Jesus Christ.
2. You will have a new view of the true Jesus of the Bible.
3. Mostly likely, you will see red and leave me comments about how narrow minded I am, and how sad it is that they allow any moron with a computer to put this kind of stuff out there.
I hope you fall in the first camp, but if my gauge of the “Christian” church is anywhere near reality, you will fall closer to the third option. I guess it would be only fair to warn you that if you don’t already know me personally, I am so conservative and fundamental in my views, that I make Ann Coulter look like Nancy Pelosi. Now I have yet to get my own compound, but the way things are going in this world, that doesn’t sound like a half bad idea.
How could anybody have a disagreement with anybody else who says that Jesus was the Son of God? I’m glad you asked. There are many religions, denominations, sects, groups, or what-have-you that all claim the same thing. The reality is that they all have a different Jesus that they worship. Jesus was God’s Son, and since there is only one True God, there can only be one True Jesus. If your beliefs, thoughts, or theology of Jesus are different than mine, guess what, you worship a different Jesus than I do.
If you worship a different Jesus, you worship a different God. For example, some believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers. I know, it’s crazy, but I have and worship a different God than that person does. They may claim to be Christians, but I learned very early on that life is all about definitions. You know, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” It is all about definitions.
Let me take a short detour and say from the outset, that it doesn’t matter at all what I say about who the real Jesus was. The final authority is the Bible that God gave to lead us to the right path. If your interpretation of the Scriptures differs from mine, then I would be more than happy to discuss it. But, if your going to try and argue with me because your college professor taught you what the experts say about the Bible, don’t bother. I took those classes, too, and they have no idea what they are talking about. They were hired by Christian hating elitists who wanted someone to tow the line of their thinking. I argued with them till I was blue in the face, but it did no good. I wasted too much breath then and I wont do it again with you.
Thank you for that little side trip, but that leads nicely into the conversation I would like to have. I’m sure there are some of you who are thinking that I am completely blowing any witness that I may have with those who have different views. Well, I am just following the example Jesus set. People need to be told the truth no matter how rough it is.
Let me assure you, Jesus was not this long haired hippie running around the countryside with his commune buddies that you see time and time again in movies. He wasn’t this happy-go-lucky guy who was just hanging out with his friends, talking about love, and trying to get everyone to be nice to each other.
He was a serious, methodical, man on a mission, who was not afraid to lay down the Law and bring the wood when it was called for. People don’t want to talk about when Jesus literally fashioned a whip to use when he chased everyone out of the temple court. He didn’t approach the money changers with his hands clasped behind his back and ask them nicely if they wouldn’t mind moving their very nice business outside. No, they were defiling his Father’s house and it was time to open a can. Granted, Jesus opened a righteous can, but I will bet you a dollar he had a sweat worked up when it was all done and over with. He was whipping animals and overturning tables, and remember these aren’t light folding tables either. This took some effort.
Some may say they deserved it, and that was just one occasion, right?
If you think so, hold on cause we are just getting started. How about witnessing to people? We all know the story of the rich ruler who wanted to follow Jesus. Remember how that turned out? The story starts out as a street preacher’s dream. A man approaches and the first question he asks is, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Anybody else would start right in on the Roman’s road. Not Jesus. He asks another question, “Why do you call me good?” Now the rest is another topic for another time, but the ruler leaves unhappy because he didn’t want to sell all that he had. One thing you don’t see is Jesus chasing after him. You don’t see Jesus leading the man in the sinner’s prayer, and telling him that they will work on the little vices that he has. He lets the man walk away. He knew it was a waste of time and effort.
If you think that is at all harsh, how about calling a woman a dog. A Greek woman came to Jesus to beg for her daughter to be healed from a demon. Jesus basically tells her that He doesn’t have time for her, and she is just a dog compared to His people. Try that today and if your not charged with a hate crime, you will be lambasted by on every single news organization known to man.
Jesus was even harsh on His family and friends. How many times did Jesus accuse the disciples of being dense and not having any faith. He called Peter Satanic! He basically told his family to go take a hike when they thought he was crazy. Time and time again He was abrasive toward those around Him.
If you haven’t hear these stories before, my guess was right and the church today is too scared to preach the Jesus of the Bible. They want to present you with a man who never existed.
Now that I have all that on the table, let me say this. Jesus was longsuffering, and had a love for everyone that we cannot even begin to fathom. It was this love that took Him to the cross. He looked down from that tree through all the pain the wracked His torn body and asked God to forgive those who had nailed Him up there. He also made sure Mary was going to have someone to take care of her. How many of us would have the heart to go through this torture and still have the ability to take care of other people.
My point is that if we don’t understand who Jesus really was then how are we going to be able know what example we are to follow. Read Ecclesiastes. There is a time for everything. A time for peace and a time for war. We need to be harmless as doves and wise as serpents. But, when the time comes to stand our ground and fight, we don’t want a skewed vision of our Savior ripping the spine from our back.