Jesus is NOT your homeboy…
Who is Jesus?
This is the most important question you’ll ever have to answer. Silence speaks volumes.
Who is the man, Jesus the Christ?
From prison, John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:19) Before his beheading, he sought clarity on the most important question a man may ask.
Each man must answer for himself. Jesus demands it. His existence requires it. No one may answer for you, not a parent or a preacher or a spouse.
“Who do you say that I am?” – Jesus (Matthew 15:15)
“I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-Shirt because it says I want to be formal, but I’m here to party.” – Cal Naughton, Jr. (Talladega Nights)
Though a silly quote from a blasphemous movie, this line epitomizes the western church’s casual view of Jesus. I can picture Jesus any way I like and I like him casual. Casual Jesus suits my needs.
Jesus is your friend, maybe your best friend. He is friendly and approachable, non-threatening, always smiling. He loves children, probably dogs too. He loves to walk around cradling a lamb, a gentle smile gracing his pleasant countenance.
Jesus is my homeboy.
Casual Jesus spawns a casual God. He is the Big Man upstairs. The Big Guy. You know, me ‘n God, we’re real tight. God is demoted to a grandfatherly type character who just wants us young people to have a good time.
Casual Jesus makes we want to vomit in my mouth.
Immediately following the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the church was inundated with false teachings concerning Jesus. This was the spirit of antichrist. (1 John 2:18-23) The tradition of people teaching false things about Jesus continued throughout the centuries. Gnosticism, modalism, Arianism, just to name a few, all slandered the reality of Jesus.
In response, Paul tells the church in Corinth to destroy strongholds, arguments, and every lofty opinion that teaches false things about Jesus. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) Destroy them. Don’t acknowledge them. Don’t validate them…destroy them.
Today, shades of these heresies persist. We get casual Jesus.
Let us demolish casual Jesus.
The most quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament is Psalm 110:1. God the Father, speaking to God the Son says, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
The Lord Jesus is presently sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and He is about the business of putting all things in subjection to Him. At present, we do not yet see all things in subjection to Him, but they are, and they will be.
…“shatter kings on the day of his wrath,”
…“execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses.” (Psalm 110:5-6)
Jesus is not my homeboy. Nowhere in Scripture is Jesus referred to as my friend. He is not my buddy or my chum.
He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and one day, every knee in heaven and on the earth will bow before Him, either in submission or subjugation, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Who is Jesus?
“Truly this man was the Son of God!” – centurion (Mark 15:39)
Let us bow before Him in reverence.
You’ve heard it. Maybe you’ve said it.
“Quit being so darn judgy. Jesus would never judge like that. Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
Besides, Jesus hung out with sinners, eating and drinking wine. He was the life of the party. Just for the love of God, quit being so judgmental!
Please allow me to destroy the latter half of this fallacy first.
Jesus did not “hang out”. Jesus, God incarnate, existed in the flesh to accomplish the will of the Father, to redeem a people for Himself. Yes, Jesus went where sinners and tax collectors were. He dined with them. He lodged with them. He spent time with them…for a very specific reason, to call them to repentance, to call them to faith. This idea that we should just hang around ungodly people just because that’s what Jesus did is anathema to the Christian ethic and if we’re honest, it’s merely an attempt to justify our own desire to continue sinful living.
By all means, be like Jesus. Go to sinners and tax collectors, but go in the name of Jesus, preaching and proclaiming the Gospel of salvation.
And quit marking out entire passages of Scripture to forge a Jesus of your own understanding, one who would readily overlook a man’s sin, and again, if we’re honest, overlook your sins.
Yes, “judge not”, comes from Jesus. He’s talking about hypocrisy and judgement with a right spirit. Don’t be looking for the sin in others. Examine yourself first, remove the log from your own eye before you are concerned with the speck in another’s eye, and then you will be able to take the speck out of your brother’s eye, to restore him from his sin. (Matthew 7:5)
Tolerant Jesus is the Jesus we want. He is the Jesus we seek to invent. He is safe, friendly, and married to casual Jesus.
Scripture knows nothing of this tolerant Jesus. “He is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42) One day, all men will stand before Him.
But, who is He?
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God!” – Nathanael (John 1:49)
Let the reality of Jesus drive us to our knees.
I hate pitiable Jesus the most.
From the cross, Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
From this, people feel pity for Jesus. They feel sorry for Jesus. Poor, poor Jesus…and this becomes a theology of a pitiable Jesus, a weak Jesus, a neutered Jesus…a pleading Jesus.
He’s yearning for you and he’s standing impotent, gently knocking on the door of your heart, begging you to open it and invite him in. He is a gentleman. He never forces himself upon anyone.
Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, a psalm of trust that the Pharisees would have known cold. It triumphantly concludes that all shall bow before Him, that posterity itself shall serve Him, that His righteousness will be proclaimed to the people yet unborn!
One day, every tongue will confess that He is the Lord. Do you really think He needs your pity or even, gulp, your cooperation?
“You are the Christ, the Son of God,” – Martha (John 11:27)
Just as the religious right slaughters the person of Jesus, so too does the left.
They’ve invented a liberal Jesus to shame us religious zealots. Jesus was a brown-skinned rebel, an iconoclast, a socialist. He preached love and acceptance and tolerance and rebellion against authority.
I’ve come to hate this caricature of Jesus as much as pitiable Jesus.
Jesus is so much more than any of this. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1:15) He is the radiance of the glory of God, and the exact imprint of his nature. (Hebrews 1:3) Upon witnessing the reality of the glorified Christ, John “fell at his feet as though dead.” (Revelation 1:17)
One day, He will destroy any doubts. One day, He will return, in glory and power, and He will strike down the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. He will judge and make war! (Revelation 19:11-16)
He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
“Who do you say that I am?” – Jesus
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” – Peter (Matthew 16:16)
Let us surrender to Him today.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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