I love talking about Jesus. I love re-telling the stories that the Gospels share about Jesus. Like the woman caught in the act of adultery, for instance, and how He extended grace and mercy to her. There’s also the story about how Jesus interrupted a funeral and raised a little boy from the dead. Or the time Jesus broke all the social rules and talked to a Samaritan woman, alone, in public.
All of us have a propensity to focus on the stories that we like and the ones we can most identify with.
However, the danger in that is that we can easily leave out details about Jesus that are crucial to understanding who He was and is. We can also focus on commands of His that we like… and try to forget or overlook the ones we don’t.
I think Jesus is easily one of the most misrepresented persons that has ever walked the face of the earth. Thankfully the Father has provided an excellent source to let us know who the Son of God was (and is) and how He really lived. The amazing thing is, if we take a full, solid look at the Gospels, we can get a very clear picture of the real Jesus.
Jesus isn’t just the nice guy that said all of those “Blessed is he…” lines in the sermon on the mount. He’s also the guy that threw the moneychangers out of the temple.
I bet they didn’t feel so blessed.
Jesus isn’t just the nice guy that said “don’t hinder the little children from coming to me…” He’s also the guy that ripped into the Pharisees numerous times and even called them names… like brood of vipers.
I bet they felt quite rejected.
Jesus isn’t just the nice guy that walked around being nice to poor people. He’s also the guy that called all people to repent of their sins.
And then there’s the time Jesus ran off a herd of pigs.
In Matthew 8, Jesus ministered to two demon possessed men. Interestingly enough, when Jesus cast the demons out of the men, He directed them into the herd of pigs (oddly at the demon’s request).
“…the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.” vs. 32
Jesus just bankrupted someone.
Now check out the people’s response:
“And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw Him, they begged him to leave their region.” vs. 34
Jesus, please leave.
Jesus, that wasn’t a very nice thing to do.
Jesus made some people mad… and I’d be pretty mad too if He ran off my bacon.
The moral of the story is this: before we paint a distorted picture of Jesus and claim to speak for Him, let’s make sure we’re speaking about the whole Jesus and not just the parts we like. Representing Jesus is serious business. And in order to do it accurately as possible (by grace of course) we must present the full Jesus — not just the parts that suit our fancy or that make us the least uncomfortable.
And I’m now in the mood for some bacon.