When was the last time you talked about Jesus — not church, or God, or Christianity, but Jesus? What did the conversation sound like?
After reading this chapter I was struck by her observation that many church can go weeks, maybe even months without saying the name Jesus during a sermon. Many, probably all, churches I have attended fall into that category. We want to see the whole picture, to see how God is moving and did move in the history of our religious fore-fathers, but leaving out Jesus altogether seems odd. In his book Is God To Blame? Greg Boyle writes this about Jesus
Jesus is the perfect expression of God’s thought, character, and will. He is God’s self-definition to us. We have see that in Christ, God defines and expresses Himself as a God of outrageous love.
We should use and take every opportunity to look to God though the lens of Jesus. By better understanding Jesus, we will better understand all of the many many magnitude of facets God’s character holds. Most recently I have talked about Jesus by studying the Wedding in Cana with my Regen Home group, I led the group and we discussed the purpose of this miracle, as well as how we can be more intentional about bringing people to Jesus as a response to that passage. I was heavily influced by Michael Frost’s powerful telling of this story. I recently heard him speak in Southern California and his message has held to me. I will embed the video at the bottom of this post, please find some time to watch it.
The conversation at homegroup, while it was about Jesus, still held him in a far off savior on a pedestal, and that is my fault. I was leading that night. If we had really dug deep into the person of Jesus, not the charater of our savior I am sure it would’ve been a conversation that would steep in our hearts. I hope I get the chance to talk about our/my friend and savior Jesus soon.
|Michael Frost, Exponential West 2015 — Telling about a Jesus you’ve never met before|
Can you remember what the name “Jesus” meant to you when you first came to know it? Think about a time when you were naive in your understanding of him?
I grew up in church so I don’t recall a time when Jesus wasn’t a term regularly used. WWJD bracelets were very popular when I was little and I remember having a tie-dye colored one. I think I wore it to a Newsboys concert. I come from a small town conservative Southern Baptist church, so naturally I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a young age and asked him to come into my heart and make a home there. I was 7, I remember I was baptized on December 20th, because it was a week before my birthday, the 27th. I was so naive in my understanding of him at this time. The only reason I was baptized truly was because my peer Mary-Robin had done so a few weeks before me and I couldnt let her have all the fame. Being the attention seeker that I am, I had to readjust the focus and let the whole church know I too was a real Christian. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I was about 14, that I started slowly getting glimpses of who Christ really was and is and is to come.
How has your understanding of Him changed?
How do I even answer this. My understanding of Jesus hasn’t changed in the way Sarah’s changed, going from total misunderstanding to clarity, Jesus has only been purified in my life. I think it is something akin to smelting. I have a huge conglomerate of Jesus in my mind, from what my parents taught me, what my church taught me, what the world taught me, and over time, through prayer and spending time reading my Bible, I am getting a clearer more pure understanding of Jesus.
What counterfeit Jesus have you come across in your life? How have they affected you?
Growing up in the south counterfeit Jesus and the legacy of counterfeit Jesus’ of yore haunt everything. Many beliefs and prejudices spring from some misunderstanding of Christ’s true character. Sarah says “we create Jesus in our image, don’t we?” We use Jesus as a pawn in our attempt to validate our beliefs, boths sides and every side does this. I am not pointing fingers, but if you felt attacked by that idea then perhaps you and Jesus need to sort some things out together.