Ok, Ok, I did not return the day following my previous post, but I am back 🙂
The danger is always to bend Jesus into the image we want Him to be. As Brennan Manning said,
“In every age and culture we tend to shape Jesus to our own image and make him over to our own needs in order to cope with the stress his unedited presence creates. “In a foxhole Jesus is a rescue squad; in a dentist’s chair a painkiller; on exam day a problem-solver; in an affluent society a clean-shaven middle-of-the-roader; for a Central American guerilla a bearded revolutionary.”
When we ask the question “Who is Jesus for me?”, we need to confront the images we already built of Him. Is He the absent Jesus, the nice Jesus, the angry Jesus or the Jesus the preacher knows? The Jesus you’ve been told about? Do we only know the “Jesus we can cope with”?
I think the one thing that stands out for me is the love of Jesus. It’s embarrassing when I compare it to my own version of love. His love was real. No pretending. He was real. No bluffing. No bullshit. I sometimes wonder what happened to the people, especially the pharisees, when Jesus called Yahwe, Abba(Daddy)? It must have been gut wrenching to hear Him say it. Here is a Guy, Who is intimate with the Father and He does not do what is expected of Him. The paradox must have been staggering to say the least. Jesus lived out of His Abba experience. He experienced God as laughter and loving and kind-hearted and tolerant and He showed people the God that He knew. Jesus described an intimacy of life when He said, “The Father and I are one”. Jesus is the human face of God with all the attitudes, features, and characteristics of the Father. To Philip He said, “He who sees me sees the Father. That means the old testament is a broken revealer of God. Jesus is the full picture. Jesus is also the full picture of how far love will go.
Jesus also said this: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” On that sentence alone, we can meditate for a year.
Who is Jesus for me? That is the question all of us must answer. Remember, we can only give people what we have. Can we give them the Jesus that is alive today?