One of the things that gets me extremely annoyed is when we turn Jesus into something other than who He is.
And let’s be honest, many times we’ve wrongly cast Jesus in the image of a wimp.
You’ve seen the pictures of “Renaissance Jesus.” Long flowing hair, pale olive skin, the look of a soft spoken, mild mannered art school teacher. And from what I read – I just don’t see that Jesus in my Bible.
In the words of Dorothy Sayers the church has “very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” In other words, we’ve tamed the tiger who is our awesome Savior.
People say following Jesus is for people who need help in life. He’s for those who can’t get by on their own. That just bugs me. When Jesus walked the Earth – He was a symbol of strength and inspiration to the strong. He was intimidating enough to garner a few assassination attempts and when they finally arrested him, they sent a “large crowd armed with swords and clubs!” (Matt. 26:47). You don’t send that kind of crowd to arrest a “Mr. Rogers” figure.
This is the Jesus who “made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:15. Did you see that? Jesus made a whip! I’ve never “made” a whip. I can’t remember the last time I tossed a table for God. Kind of brings new meaning to “What Would Jesus Do?” question, doesn’t it?
The point is Jesus was afraid of NOTHING and intimidated by NO ONE, and powerful people took notice. Roman Centurions sought audience with Him, rustic fisherman and politically charged zealots followed Him, at one point 5000 men where crossed a lake to be close to Him. If He were here today, Bono wouldn’t compare to His attractive qualities, and Colin Powell would pale in the strength of his courage.
When did Jesus become the savior only for the weak and weary?
Yes, Jesus helps the down and out – absolutely. But Jesus also calls those who are comfortable and well-off to an adventure that would make Bear Grills think twice. A life on the edge where disruption of the status quo is a must and causing friction with the establishment comes standard. A day to day adventure where faith is essential to survival.
I am not called to worship a wuss. I’m called to worship and serve a Mighty God. An awesome warrior. A conquering King.
Let’s leave “Renaissance Jesus” behind and get back in touch with the Jesus of Scripture.