We all reckon that the Jesus we worship is the right Jesus.
The truth is that the real Jesus lived around 2,000 years ago on this earth. The truth is that to some extent, we cannot help seeing Jesus through our own culture, society, and religious traditions. All of these things determine the aspects of Jesus in the gospels we emphasise, and how we interpret the gospel texts.
So, which Jesus do you worship?
Do you worship the political Jesus – the Jesus who supports your political views, because of course that’s what He would have done?
Do you worship the social Jesus – the homeless Jesus Who slept under bridges, and who dedicated His time to the oppressed and downtrodden of society?
Do you support the national Jesus – the one Who supports your nation against all the rest?
Do you worship the denominational Jesus – the one Who agrees with your particular Church but who wouldn’t really be comfortable worshipping with other Christians?
Do you worship the Hollywood Jesus – with His blue eyes, impeccable hygiene, and wavy hazel salon hair? (Yeah… right! Jesus was probably quite short, with dark and short curly dark hair – and very Middle-Eastern looking).
Do you worship the conservative Jesus? The liberal Jesus? The apocalyptic Jesus? The teacher Jesus? The Jewish Jesus? The miraculous Jesus? The meek and mild Jesus? The powerful Jesus? The man Jesus? The divine Jesus?
Do you get the picture?
Some of these dimensions of Jesus may be right. Others are not. We have to be careful about which Jesus we worship.
In the end, the New Testament refuses to give us an exclusive, single perspective on Jesus. Because who Jesus is, and why He should be worshipped is not as simple as that.
We can’t help, as human beings, focusing on some aspects of who Jesus is. Most times there’s nothing wrong with that. But the New Testament challenges us to know the reality of Jesus by experiencing Him in a personal relationship.
Jesus is not a concept; not just something religion has made up; not just dry words on a page. Jesus is the living, risen Lord. He is alive today, and He lives to be your greatest friend.
In the end, the picture of Jesus that the New Testament finishes with is of a cosmic and universal Jesus, who is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” – a Jesus Who transcends all labels and concepts that we so often use to confine Him and His action in this world.
Yet at the same time, He is the Jesus Who is pleading with you to let Him capture your heart so that He can be part of your life. Don’t let your society, culture, or religious ideas stop you from accepting that invitation. Because then Jesus will show you what He’s really like, and you’ll find out that He’s better and greater than you ever imagined.