I'd been hearing the phrase, "Let me tell you about 'my' Jesus" a lot lately but it wasn't until this morning God wanted to talk about it.
There's nothing inherently wrong with saying "My Jesus." I call God, "My Abba"and it brings a soft smile to my lips and warmth in my heart, having Him as my Father is such a beautifully intimate thing. I delight and take comfort in having Him and being held by Him through this life and forever. What we have is my greatest treasure by far.
I know He's not only My Abba, He has many children, but nevertheless....My Abba.
When people say, "My Jesus"they are professing the same intimacy for the Son of God and King of Kings which is beautiful, too.
There is another way people take possession of Jesus, however, that isn't based in closeness. What Abba was ministering to me this morning as we spent time together was about the danger in creating a Jesus that isn't Jesus at all but a reflection of the Jesus an individual wishes exists.
In modern culture, Jesus is a passive sandal-wearing hippie who hands out free food, provides free healthcare, dislikes rules and wants nothing more than "good vibes" and the occasional shout out in return. But that isn't Jesus.
It might "your" Jesus, but it isn't Jesus.
Have you ever gained approval from people by pretending to be someone you weren't?
Humans do this. But Jesus does not.
In the time He walked the earth as fully Man and fully God, He offended and angered many because of His refusal to compromise.
Yes, Jesus fed people, healed the sick, took mercy on those who needed mercy, but we can never forget that as much as He embodied the loving kindness of God, He also God's holiness and righteousness as well.
He protected the woman from being stoned and also told her to go and "sin no more."
The dichotomies living in God have always confounded me. They aren't contradictions, just characteristics I was not used to seeing side by side. He is supreme at loving but also fiercely uncompromising when it comes to sin. He is just and forgiving. God created parameters, borders, and yet His love flows like the most generous of streams.
With one hand He corrects, sometimes painfully, and with the other, comforts in a way no one and nothing else can comfort and heal. He is magnificent and the holder of all things good and complete.
The only solution when it comes to wanting to know God, and to know Jesus His Son, is to seek who He actually is rather than who we imagine or desire Him to be.
We have to be careful of fashioning Jesus in our own image. Creating a "my Jesus" that isn't representative of who He is. He's alive, everyone. He has characteristics that are unchangeable.
This morning in my quiet time I heard, "Some of you hate Christ but do not know it. You think you love Him because of your attachment to the version you have created of him in your mind but hate Him in reality. You hate Him for what He stands for but if you knew Him you'd love Him for who He is."
Hatred and love to God are not emotions. These words have more to do with care, attention, respect, and heeding, rather than having good feelings about something. The feelings can follow as a result of the actions but do not lead them.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments," Jesus said in John 14:15
"If you love me, feed my sheep," He said in John 21:17.
It's tempting and gratifying to create a new Jesus, but the truth is, the real Jesus is better.
We've all been in situations where we felt we had to pretend to be someone we weren't to be liked or accepted.
Let's not impose that on Jesus. We can love Him for who He actually is by getting to know Him. The #1 most important way to do that is through what He said in His Word.
Make it personal. If someone claimed to want to get to know you, but only pursued the relationship based on extrapolated vague ideas about you based on what they wanted to believe blended with a few half-truths sprinkled in, it would be obvious they didn't want to know the real you at all.
A name in absence of the truth behind it is worse than meaningless. You're being robbed of knowing the One with the only keys that matter, the One whose love restores us to God and whose garment when draped over you will change everything.
If you want to know who Jesus truly is, go to Him directly. Pray and read the words He said, what He did.
The main reason people avoid this is because they're afraid of what they'll learn but the truth is that Jesus is good. The Bible has been proven over and over to be a trustworthy account. I did my own research to come to this conclusion. Do yours. If you love proof like I do, a good starting point is here.
There is not unlimited time to do this. Jesus loves everyone but there is a finite amount of time to get to know Him in order to spend the life after this one with Him.
Don't rest your hopes on a Jesus of your imagination, one who does not exist, one who you can never be in relationship with because it a fruit of your own thoughts alone.
There is a real Jesus. Ask Him to reveal Himself to You. Knock and the door will be opened to you.
For me, the book of John really opened up who Jesus is for me. Here's a simple place to start with language that isn't difficult. John 1
If you know nothing of Jesus, starting at His birth would be great. This is a great place to begin: Matthew 1
I love to tell people about my Jesus. My Yeshua. I didn't make Him up. He saved me and keeps refining, healing, and helping me daily. We walk together.
Let Jesus be Jesus. He's better than any person we could invent.
The promises of God begin and end with Jesus because He is the reconciliation. If you've been walking through life on your own and want to walk with a Shepherd who will never let go of your hand, here's how to start.