This weekend at Quest, my Pastor, Pete Hise talked about why Jesus was so polarizing. How in every situation, one group could see Him one way, and another group could see Him completely differently. Take for instance when He stood in the gap for the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned. She, and I'm sure others saw Him as a marvelous hero, riding in and enacting justice for those treated unjustly! But then there were others who were infuriated that He would oppose the law. At His claims that He could absolve sin. That HE was indeed God in the flesh! Wherever He was, He caused a stir. You were either for Him or against Him. There was never an in-between.
And isn't it that way today? If it's not, then it should be. Even He said that he despised those who were luke warm. If you're comfortable with Jesus, then you should look into your heart and ask, "Why?" Jesus demands our all, that we actually be His servant and a servant to others. He continually grows us, molds us and shapes us. We are to always be on a path to be more like Him. And "becoming" like Jesus means looking at our own imperfections and inadequacies which is NEVER comfortable.
I've been experiencing this "refining through the fire" myself the past few years. Confronting the ugly and the dark inside myself and giving it to Him. It's been painful, hard, uncomfortable and even exhausting at times. But I want to know Him and be like Him, so all the dark has no place in a heart that's filled with Him...filled with the Light! And even the midst of the messiness, He's given me forgiveness and peace and a feeling of purity like I can't even explain. You know how you feel after a nice hot bath? When you get into your robe or your pj's and snuggle into bed, clean and refreshed? That's how He's made me feel. He's washed me clean and I can rest in Him. Please don't misunderstand. There's a difference in THIS rest (His rest) and being "comfortable" in Jesus. He promises to give us rest and peace. But He never promises to be neat and tidy and make us comfortable. Do you see the difference?
Here is a list from Pastor Pete's blog that explain some of the "fake," "comfortable" Jesuses that we have grown accustomed to....
Pastor Pete says....
Whatever other pictures you’ve had of your “fake jesus,” whether it’s…
- Happiness jesus… (here to meet your needs, do as you’d like & make your life happy)
- Homespun jesus (a jesus you’ve crafted out of what your grandmother always told you mixed in with your own ideas)
- Fix-Me jesus… (a genie always ready to come fix you up & make you all better)
- Green jesus… (more concerned with saving the planet than rescuing people)
- Right Wing jesus… (who shockingly always votes republican & who always agrees with you)
- Co-dependenant jesus… (who perpetuates your emotional brokenness)
These may be tough to look at. I must say that in the past, I've fostered a mixture of "home-spun jesus," "happiness jesus" and "right wing jesus." I am a republican, but Jesus isn't! He is God. My family matters to me and their teaching about Jesus was good for me, but He is NOT my family's opinion of Him. I am His child ultimately and have to get to know Him for myself. And Jesus loves me and wants what's best for me, but that doesn't mean His WILL will always make me happy. On the contrary, what has been His will for me in the past has usually turned my world upside down! And while it was upsetting at the the time and did NOT make me happy in many instances, in time, I realized it was for the best and did agree with me over time. Funny. When we actually let Him be God, we may find ourselves amazed at what He can do with our lives! I've found He does a much better job!
What is my view of Jesus now?
I would have to say, "Transformer, Redeemer Jesus!" He is my, "I'll give you everything I have for just a moment with You Jesus." He is my, "If I never get another thing that I want, YOU are enough" Jesus. He is my, "I am nothing and You are everything" Jesus. He is my "WOW! I will NEVER be like You or even remotely good enough for You but you WANT me anyway?" Jesus. He is my "I will never be done thanking You for what You did for me on the cross!" Jesus. He is my God and my best friend all at the same time.
This understanding of Him did not come overnight. And I'm sure that my view of Him will change and grow, as I change and grow. But my prayer is that I'm never finished changing and growing and striving to understand Him more and be more like Him.
Are you satisfied where you are? Is Jesus not meeting your expectations? Are you disappointed with Him or disillusioned by what you thought He was supposed to be or do for you? Then you may not know the real Jesus Christ. Because He is FAR from disappointing and He shoots straight...straight to your heart, in a very personal way. There's no reason to be confused or disillusioned by Him EVER!
What is your view of Jesus? Have you been fostering a fake Jesus? The only way to know is to get in THE WORD and find out for yourself. Ask Him to show you who He is...and He will. I promise you that!