Just who is Jesus anyway?
In his book, Fearless, Max Lucado tells about a Brazilian taxi driver who had a miniature statue of Jesus on his dash. When the driver thought he needed a favor he would rub the statue and ask. Max called it a “make-a-wish” Jesus. Jesus as a genie!
I can think of some others:
- Let’s Make a Deal Jesus– Jesus as Santa. If I am good then I will get what I want.
- The American Dream Jesus– Jesus as the guarantee of good health and prosperity. The health and wealth Jesus.
- Validate Me Jesus– Or the justify-me Jesus. Jesus used as a reference to validate my life choices and justify my behavior regardless of what it might be.
- Disney Jesus– Or my-Sunday-morning-fix-Jesus making sure my worship experience and spiritual life is always full of magic and fireworks.
- Discount Jesus– Ask for much, but only willing to offer just so much in return.
- Jesus is Just Alright With Me (thanks Doobie Brothers!)- I will take just Jesus but not his church or discipleship expectations.
Will the real Jesus please stand up! How can we find the authentic Jesus among all of this?
Here is a good place to start- Jesus in his own words.
- “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”- John 6:35 & 48
- “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”- John 8:12 & 9:5
- “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.”- John 10:7
- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me….”- John 10: 11-14
- “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”- John 11:25
- “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”- John 14:6
- “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”- John 15:1-5
Over the next few weeks at Gateway we will examine these “I am” statements and try to find Jesus through them.