If we were to ask a hundred people, “What is Jesus like?” We would get many different answers.
One person would describe a long-remembered picture of Jesus wearing a sad, pained expression. This person might think of a Jesus who never laughed.
Another would think of a painting in with the searching eyes of Jesus’ looking into the depths of his soul. This person might see Jesus as a divine X-ray machine, penetrating his life until he squirms with discomfort.
Another would remember Jesus with the whip, driving the money changers out of the temple. This person might see Jesus as the great punisher. “I had better watch out!” this person would think, or he will get me, too!
Various Sunday school materials formed an image of a harmless character who never stepped off a four-color poster. Jesus was kind and good but somewhat static.
How do we get a true image of Christ? We can begin by coming to know the New Testament character of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus was sorrowful in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, but not because he was a somber person. It was because he was pouring out his love for us unto death and was receiving our sins upon himself. No wonder he looked sad!
- Jesus was often joyful. He talked about the lilies of the field, the birds of the air, and the wonders of his Father’s home in heaven. He went to dinners at tax collectors’ houses and wedding feasts.
- Jesus brought joy to those around him. He fed hungry people. He helped blind people see the trees and flowers around them.
- Jesus was thoughtful. He led his followers into a grain field to get something to eat.
- Jesus is the one who specializes in taking care of broken lives and making them whole again.
Most of us have a one-sided view of Jesus. This is unfortunate, because character of Jesus is rich and complex. People who do not know this may dismiss Jesus as being too sad or too moralistic or too threatening or too boring without ever realizing that they have caught only one out-of-focus glimpse of his personality.
Happily, there is a cure for this kind of spiritual astigmatism. It’s time to put down the distorted images we may have formed in our childhood; from half-remembered paintings, stories, and sermons. It’s time to pick up the only lens that will make it possible for us to see the real picture—the Bible. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John give a well-rounded picture of a well-rounded man. The more often we read them, the clearer our vision will be.
This week, find at least one verse about the person of Christ from each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John). Learn something about him, perhaps that you did not know.
Something to think about from the words of V. Gilbert Beers; reprocessed through the Heart and Mind of Victor.