How do you see Jesus? – Today’s Thoughts…
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 7, 2009
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:17-18)
How do you view Jesus? It is s simple yet profound question and your answer reveals a lot, not only about your spirituality but your faith as well. Jesus asked this simple question of His disciples as they were walking from one town to another one day. It is that famous section where Jesus asks, “Who do the people say I am?” and His disciples respond with differing opinions and answers. Then He gets to the heart of the matter and asks them, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15) Interesting isn’t it?
There are a lot of folks who see Jesus as a kind figure going about doing good who was misunderstood. Some see Him as a mystic who taught “deeper” truths that were misunderstood or deliberately edited by His followers who only wanted a specific teaching about Jesus to come out. Then there are those who simply do not care and only know “Jesus Christ” as a swear word or punctuation point in their sentences. However, there are also those who call themselves “Christian” and still do not fully understand who Jesus is.
Yesterday I wrote about how people view God and got very little response. This does not shock me since many folks have never been challenged to think about who God is and have just been spoon-fed their theology. If it comes out of the mouth of their pastor, it must be true. Sadly, this is not always the case. I have heard some very odd theology being taught to and swallowed by spiritually ignorant congregations. Much of the emergent church movement is based on the crowd ignorance of the Scriptures.
Here, within these last verses of Matthew that many use to justify everything from missions to witnessing, we find beautiful nuggets of spiritual truth. We find the disciples, while being obedient and following what Jesus had asked them to do by going to Galilee, that some still doubted after they both “saw” and “worshiped” Him! Why did they “doubt?” It certainly wasn’t the fact that He was alive and right there before them, after all they did see Him. And in John’s gospel we find them eating with Jesus, talking with Jesus, walking with Jesus, and near enough to argue with or hug Him! (John 21:1-25) I believe they doubted who Jesus was, just as many of you do right now.
We “doubt” Jesus when we see Him as something or someone other than He truly is. We forget that He came as the Savior of the world. He was a living sacrifice that would settle the sin-debt that could never be paid by the annual sacrifice of an unblemished lamb. Thus, He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And, dear folks, He still is. He did not come so you could have companionship, a buddy, or a prayer partner. Can we enjoy some of these things better because of what He did for us? Certainly, but that is not His reason for coming nor His reason for sitting right now at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
We have reduced and morphed Jesus into being our answer man for all our problems. Want financial freedom? Come to the ultimate financial planner Jesus. Want a better marriage? Come to the marriage counselor Jesus. Want to be a better parent? Come on to the family man Christ! Want to be socially accepted as a teenager and get rid of those acne problems forever? Put on the skin cream of Christ! Want to be a better spiritual warrior? Be all you can be in the Jesus Army! I was therefore not surprised when I turned on one of the televangelists who was proclaiming Jesus was better for sex than Viagra®! Ugh!
Notice that to those who “doubted” Jesus reminds them of a simple truth that we would do well to remember: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority. All power. All truth. All the means that are at His disposal because He is God in human flesh. He is the Messiah in every sense of its connotation. He created all things and nothing existed before He spoke it into being. (John 1:1-3) There is no other name given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) None. Jesus is not another spiritual truth among many, He is the only way, and the only truth, and the only life, and no one comes to God without believing in Him as their Savior and Lord. (John 14:6) If you do not believe in Jesus as God’s one and only Son, you are condemned to an eternity in hell already because you have not believed in the One whom God sent. (John 3:18)
Stop doubting who Jesus is and remind yourself today of this fact. I believe that the reason the church does not see as many converts to Christianity is because too many pastors have whitewashed who Jesus is. The following verses in Matthew today do not make sense and are not heart-wrenching for those who only see Jesus as a “Friend,” a buddy, a financial planner, a marital answer, or another way to live life. Jesus is more than another way to live your puny life. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, including yours if you believe wholeheartedly that He died for your putrid sins.
Now, today, how do you view Jesus? Your answer says a lot…
This article is copyrighted © 2008 by Lee Hemen and if you reprint it, reproduce it, or want to use it in any way, you must do so in its entirety or get the written permission of its author.