Do You REALLY Want To Be Like Jesus?
One of the most overused phrases among Christians today is, “I just want to be more and more like Jesus.” I am not saying that is something bad, it’s just that I don’t think that some people have a clue what they are talking about when they say those words. I don’t think I have a clue sometimes when I say this phrase. People from a churched culture grow up with a “safe” picture of Jesus, he had feathered hair, wore a white robe with a purple “Miss America sash, was a constant giver of hugs and carried a lamb where ever He went (there are some paintings in churches that would prove this). However, in reading Scripture that is not the only aspect of Jesus that I am seeing. I am discovering that if I want to become more and more like Jesus that I am going to have to drop my Sunday school perceptions and embrace the following:
#1 – Jesus Is A Warrior King!
Check out Revelation 19:11-16. I have never seen a picture of that guy in a Christian bookstore. One of my favorite stories is found in Matthew 21:12-16 where His passion is demonstrated by the fact that He whipped some tail in the temple. I am sick and tired of people saying that a Christian is always nice, a Christian is someone who is passionate for the things of God, which requires some table turning from time to time.
#2 – Jesus Purposefully Offended The Religious!
Keep something in mind, it wasn’t the atheists, agnostics or even the devil worshipers that murdered Jesus, but rather the most religious people in that time period. Why? Because He was such a nice guy? No not really it was because He…
- Healed on Sunday, which in their mind was sinful! These people (who aren’t much different from us) missed a miracle because it did not fit into their formula and they considered Jesus “wrong” for doing what He did!
- He hung out, even touched lepers which was a HUGE no-no in that time period.
- He went to a tax collectors house for a meal, which was a social declaration!
- He went off in Matthew 23 calling the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs, sons of hell and snakes!”
Jesus was not concerned with making the religious happy,He was dangerous, on the edge that’s who Jesus was!!!
#3 – Jesus Did Not Get Inward Focused!
Like it or not Jesus didn’t go to a bookstore, get a theology book by a dead guy, get a group of guys together that were just like Him and give the world the middle finger because He was obsessed with “going deep”.
If I meet one more group of guys who think they are becoming more like Jesus because they are theological superior to people but do not know a lost/ unchurched person by name or refuse to exercise their spiritual gift, yet claim to be godly, fisticuffs may occur. (For everyone who just got mad about that–please refer to #2 😉
#4 – Jesus Offered Forgiveness
The people Jesus was nice to were the broken, the poor, the outcasts, the prostitutes…those whom society had thrown away! He didn’t yell at them, He didn’t look down His nose at them, He didn’t sit in a church pew and wonder, “Why are they here?” He offered them forgiveness. We’ve all seen it someone goes through a painful divorce and they are pushed to the margins if not out. A teenage girl gets pregnant and the other people in the church forbid their children to hang out with her. I’ve seen it and so have you. Jesus NEVER told them their behavior was ok, in fact, He preached repentance. Jesus did not shoot the wounded amongst us.
# 5 – Jesus Was Passionate About Obeying His Father!
Jesus had a passionate desire to obey God. He recognized His Father as the absolute authority in the universe and He went to the cross and gave His life as an act of obedience and worship. If we are going to be like Christ–obedience, not prostitution (being paid to perform a service) is required.
#6 – Jesus Had A Vision To Reach People!
Jesus had a desire to reach the NATIONS (Matthew 28:18-20 and in Acts 1:8)!
Now I am not the smartest man on the planet, but that’s a lot of people. Jesus told three parables in Luke 15 about something lost being found, and then said the angels in heaven rejoice when people cross over the line of faith. though we must grow we must also be about the outsider coming in.
#7 – Jesus Was Not Normal!
Jesus, in His teaching and mentoring tactics, was just simply different! He taught with authority, He told stories, He didn’t go line by line, verse by verse through the Old Testament, He used modern illustrations, He connected with the hearts of the people and they got it! He was not normal in who He surrounded Himself with, He didn’t go for the religious professionals but rather men who were crazy enough to believe and follow Him. He didn’t fit in with the religious system of the day and they killed Him for it (though He did have the last laugh!).
These are just my thoughts/rants I wonder what you think…