Who is Jesus? Sounds simple. And you could answer simply. But no matter how you respond to the question, we all know that in reality it just isn’t that simple. Everyone has a default image that comes to mind when we hear the name Jesus. The question becomes “Which Jesus are we talking about?” That my friend is the right question.
UPDATE: I’ve removed the link to the Who’s Jesus website because that blog has been deleted by it’s author.
Who is Jesus is also the title of a blog I’ve just been reading. The author identifies himself/herself only as C. You don’t learn a lot about C by reading the blog, but I already know a lot by the clues that are given. This person is the type of Christian that Michael Spencer worked countless hours on Internetmonk trying to reach. A person that believes in God but has been disenfranchised by the church; a person that would follow Christ is not for his other “followers.” C knows what a Christian should be, but wonders outloud if there really are any. The Who is Jesus blog claims not to be the typical Christian/religious website, but one that seeks to find the real Jesus.
I do not believe The Master’s Table is the “typical” religious website. I know that I am not alone, but perhaps C is still looking for kindred spirits. I have written before on the dumb things Christians do in the name of Christ. The Crusades come to mind. Tens of thousands of Muslims were slaughtered in the Medieval Church’s attempt to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, with Jerusalem as its capital. I also recognize that not everyone that tells you he or she is a Christian really is one. (I learned that from Jesus.) Some Christians feel they are not like regular people, and do not identify themselves as sinners. I know those people are lying to themselves and others. I am a sinner. Billy Graham is a sinner. Every church pastor, deacon, godly grandmother, Sunday School teacher and church volunteer you have ever met is a sinner. Sinners become Christians and then go sinning and being sinners. That’s not a great revelation; that is now and has always been the way it works.
What makes a person a Christian, and there are some out there, is the “putting on” of Jesus Christ. The word literally means Christ-like. Christians think of others before themselves. They submit to those in authority, even when the authorities are wrong. Jesus didn’t form a tea party, he told the Jewish subjects of the Roman Empire to render to Caesar the things which were Caesar’s. He also hung on a cross and died after being convicting in an mock trial held in the middle of the night, but I digress. Jesus was humble like a servant. He prayed for those who were in the process of crucifying him, but he also did things we can imitate, like washing the disciples feet. It’s not a literal command to wash feet; it’s a command to serve others. The people that look and act like Jesus, those are the real Christians.
If you’re selling a million books in the process, people might question your motives. If a pastor leads a congregation of 100,000 it may be tough to tell if he is becoming more Christ-like or becoming a rock star. Here’s what I suggested to C: go to a third world country and find a Christian missionary. If he digs wells by hand, lives without electricity and running water on a pittance salary, and shares the Gospel with those hungry for it, then that is really a Christian. A Christian says and does the things that Jesus would say and do. I know there’s a lot of stupid going around wearing a Christian label. There are probably a lot of knock-off Rolex watches out there. But if you buy a fake Rolex for a hundred bucks from a guy in an ally, that conks out like a fake Rolex, that doesn’t mean that a genuine Rolex is also a piece of crap. There are real Rolexes out there even if you never see one.
The majority of Christians and/or Christian websites might not tell you religion is bad. Is Islam evil? ALL RELIGION is evil. I don’t want you to be religious, I want you to meet Jesus. There will be many religious people burning in hell forever. Having a relationship with God that only comes through knowing his son Jesus, that is worth something. That changes a person; not from a sinner into a saint, at least not in this life. Over the course of a lifetime we are conformed to his image. Jesus looked and sounded like God the Father (Col 1, among others). We are being transformed into looking and sounding like Jesus. We are made in God’s image, but affected by the fall and the curse. He simply wants us back. That is the message of the Gospel.