The ‘Real’ Jesus

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     Scot McKnight recently wrote an article that appeared in Christianity Today, April, 2010 that focused on studies of the historical Jesus.  At the beginning of the article, The ‘Real’ Jesus, he related a story about the first day of his class on Jesus of Nazareth.  Usually, he gives a standardized psychological test divided into two parts.  He says, “The results are nothing short of astounding.” 
     I’ll let him describe what happens.  “The first part is about Jesus.  It asks students to imagine Jesus’ personality, with questions such as, “Does he prefer to go his own way rather than act by the rules?” and “Is he a worrier?”  The second part asks the same questions of the students, but instead of “Is he a worrier?” it asks, “Are you a worrier?”  The test is not about right or wrong answers, nor is it designed to help students understand Jesus.  Instead, if given to enough people, the test will reveal that we all think Jesus is like us.  Introverts think Jesus is introverted, for example, and, on the basis of the same questions, extroverts think Jesus is extroverted” (p. 23).
     McKnight reveals that we tend to make Jesus into our own image rather than transforming our lives by becoming like Him.  We would rather change Jesus than change ourselves to conform to His image!  Yet, discipleship is all about being like Jesus.  Here are a few passages of Scripture to think about.  Matthew 16:24-25, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”  When we lose our will to the will of God we can become one with Him.  I Peter 1:21-23, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.”
     The real Jesus is revealed in the Scriptures.  Could a more beautiful depiction of Jesus be given than that found in Isaiah 53 in the prophecy of the Suffering Servant?  Could a more detailed understanding of Jesus be gained by studying anything other than the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?  These sacred records depict Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God.  He is our savior and Lord.  Why not spend some time reading these sacred accounts of the life of Jesus and enhance your own understanding of who Jesus really is?  Perhaps if you discover the real Jesus, you will also discover the true path for your own life.

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