Yep, you read the title correctly. I’m going to tackle, perhaps, the most controversial person in history.
One is seldom on the fence about Jesus. Either he’s divine…or he isn’t. There’s not much middle ground here. He’s either Lord and Savior….or the biggest liar and crazy man history has ever known.
If you’ve spent, oh I’d say about a minute here, you’ll know that my belief is he’s divine. My beliefs are taken from the concept of the Trinity, or Triune personality of God.
But let’s take a closer look at JC.
First, we have the Lambs and Kittens Jesus; all soft and cuddly, meek and mild mannered. He’s the turn-the-other-cheek kind of guy. Gentleness personified. This is the Christian, Sunday School Jesus we all know and love. Normally pictured as more-or-less a Euro-Caucasian man (never understood that one), his auburn-colored hair is never out of place and he’s always wearing white or light robes. Sometimes there’s a halo of light around his head.
We like this Jesus because…well, who wouldn’t like someone who is called the Good Shepherd? We like that he leads the lost, but we seldom think of ourselves that way. He’s soft-spoken and never threatening. We can put the sugar-coated Lambs and Kittens Jesus securely in our comfort-zone box and not worry about being threatened by anything he says or does. There’s a security-blanket feeling when thinking of Jesus this way. After all, he did say the meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). We’re happy to believe he was a pacifist and did nothing but preach love and forgiveness…and gave people a big smile and the peace sign everywhere he went.
But is that an authentic depiction?
Certainly JC is equated with love. He displayed love and mercy time and time again to those who needed it most. But in whitewashing Jesus, we’ve overlooked a few important details.
First of all, he grew up as a carpenter and hand-worked large pieces of wood into furniture. That suggests someone who is fairly strong, physically. Secondly, he was a Jew in Palestine/Judea area; therefore he probably didn’t have lovely, wavy auburn hair. If we’re profiling, he would probably have looked more like this….
Next, while he could be soft-spoken, he spent much of his three-year ministry making sure self-righteous, pious people felt more than a bit uncomfortable. Jesus has a way of comforting the distressed…and distressing the comfortable.
He hung out with those of questionable character; the tax collectors, thieves, lepers, liars and questionable women. He dealt with them gently, using encouraging words of hope and salvation. Never did he turn away someone who came to him with a shattered life. He was routinely spotted dining with the underbelly of the city, offering them a way out of life’s gutter.
But, to those who secluded themselves in lofty residences; to those who showed no compassion and mercy to others; to those who passed judgement on those less fortunate; to the selfish and greedy…he had the harshest words. He was intolerant of self-righteous, hard-hearted people and didn’t mince words about it.
And let’s not forget the biggest characteristic of all.
He’s big-G God. Yes, I totally understand that’s a hard concept to wrap our minds around. And I totally understand there are many who don’t believe in God and/or Jesus Christ. After all, whatever would possess the uncreated God of the Universe to personify himself as a mortal man and willingly give up his life in such a horrific way? It really makes no logical sense to our logical minds.
Unless you believe Jesus Christ was God incarnate and had a plan to reconcile his people back into the fold all along through the only perfect sacrifice available…his own. And you must admit, if Jesus was only a mere mortal, how could he have done these miracles in front of so many witnesses who passed the news along to others…and eventually to us?
Turned water into wine at a wedding?
Walked on water?
Spoke and calmed the storm?
Fed thousands on a few loaves of bread and some fish?
Raised Lazarus back to life?
Raised the son of a widow back to life ?
Raised a ruler’s daughter back to life, and healed a sick woman along the way?
Restored a demon-possessed man?
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
~John 1:1, 14
Lord or Lunatic.
Linking up with ABC Wednesday