We Think We Know Jesus ….

… but do we?

I blogged about Jesus for a month. Visitors to my site dwindled. Comments shrank and grew fewer.

We think we know the Son of God, Lord and Savior, Master and Friend, Teacher and Rabbi.

But the more we look at Him, the more blurred and muddled our stereotypical picture of Him becomes.

He defies our analyses. He explodes our myths. He refuses to fit our boxes. He will not remain in our tombs.

He says things that provoke us. Things we cannot, try as we might, fully comprehend.

He speaks an eternal language, and though He simplifies with story, the complete meaning simply eludes us.

Even when He asks His closest friends who they think He is, most of them struggle.

One of them has help with the answer.

Can we ever be so confident that we know Him and what He would want us to do/not do/say/not say/live/not live that we no longer seek; no longer ask; no longer knock?

There has never been a time in my life when I felt like I knew all the answers about Jesus. I knew people who thought they did. I was flat-out jealous of them (and a little bit guilty for that envy). I honestly thought they might.

But I don’t anymore.

If they had, they could have made billions writing books that would have outsold even Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew – and I’m pretty sure he’s got a better grasp of the character, in many ways, than I do.

What are some things you were sure you knew about Jesus … concepts that time has capsized and sunk?

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11 thoughts on “We Think We Know Jesus ….

  1. Oooh…excellent question, Keith. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you or your millions of readers. At least, not exactly…I’m not sure I’ve got any specific ‘things’ about Jesus that have changed in my mind…it just seems that the more I learn, the more radical He becomes, thus the more “blurred and muddled” my picture of Him becomes.Sometimes we (or at least I) tend to focus more on all the good, easy-to-understand, comforting aspects of Jesus, rather than the difficult and/or radical ones. There’s a song that I hear occasionally on the radio…for the longest time I would always pass it by, simply because I didn’t care too much for the music. But very recently (as in, within just the last month or so) there was nothing else on the other stations and I was forced to listen to ALL of Todd Agnew’s “My Jesus,” and I was astounded. It’s one of those that just speaks to me. With such challenging lyrics as <>“Which Jesus do you follow? Which Jesus do you serve? If Ephesians says to imitate Christ, why do you look so much like the world?”<> and <>“Pretty blue eyes, curly brown hair and a clear complexion is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins. But the Word says He was battered and scarred, or did you miss that part? Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him,”<> these questions force me to examine the picture of the Jesus that I follow. I just feel like I need to pay more attention to His intricate details, the things He says and does that may not necessarily be as easy to understand on the surface, but that He wants me to follow after His footsteps in. Not too long ago, I heard one of my favorite brothers talking about Jesus’ pretty radical instruction to one of His seekers, and in his sermon, he raised the question, “I wonder how many things there are that Jesus has said that we’ve kinda skipped over in a hurry to get to the next part that we like, and that’s good, that’s promise-filled and that’s rewarding; and we’re ready to get to it, and we <>miss what it takes to get to that part. We miss doing what He would like for us to do.”<>That thought is one of several of his that have stayed with me. So the challenge is, like you said, to keep asking, seeking, and knocking. I must keep trying to learn, trying to pay more attention to the <>whole<> picture of Christ that the Bible gives, not just the parts that fit into my little box, my stereotypical picture.Sorry so long, your blog, not mine, so I’ll stop here…thanks once again, Keith.

  2. It is a good question. For me, the fact that I don’t have to be totally right. I can make mistakes and fumble and actually “do it wrong”, but he will still be there, loving me.

  3. The myth of church attendance…the talk of the Sabbath being made for man not vice-versa… The fact that the people he loved and associated with were not the ones my parents would have encouraged me to hang out with..He REALLY EXPECTS us to love other people.

  4. That he came not to condemn the world but to save it. And that the saved are more than just our little group in the Church of Christ. That’s harder to understand than it should be for us at PV when we hear the constant drum beat of the lost condition of the church down the street. I agree with djg. Christ really does expect us to love other people, not condemn them.

  5. Vic, I guess I’m just not listening to the same people that you are???Because I don’t hear that constant drum beat at PV, either. And like Keith said, definitely not from the pulpit, at least…

  6. mmlace, I am glad you are not hearing it and I wish and pray that all the pv young people did not hear it. You must not have been there Sunday night but it does concern me that you may have heard it and just overlooked it as a given. You may even agree with what is said. However I seriously doubt that you agree because you sing with instrumental music on the radio. If you are interested you can hear it on the PV website at http://www.pvcc.org. Its about half way thru. It is not a direct attack but you will hear the insidious message that the Church of Christ is the only true church.

  7. Vic, I was, indeed, there Sunday night. I had to think about it for a minute, then I recalled what I believe you are referring to. And I went to the website to find that part and listen to it again. I’m sorry…perhaps I’m too much of an idealist or optimist…or maybe even just plain naive…but I’m not sure that’s the message (or even underlying message) he was trying to get across.

  8. mmlace, your optimism is a good thing. as an older person I feel a responsibility to you and I don’t want to discourage you. I am just worried.

  9. Keith you have learned a hard lesson about blogging or preaching. If you noticed the diehard fans you had quit commenting at all if it weren’t for some new commenters you would have really fallen in people who agreed with you. people love you as long as you agree with their philosophy, not so much if you don’t they are not in this thing for learning just for blostering, I quit trying a long time ago. yeah I noticed you became the lone ranger, even the preacher friends thought you might be a little hot to handle Keep up the good work think for yourself. people didn’t agree with Jesus as you might remember.

  10. Excellent thoughts Keith, it was when I allowed mystery to enter into the equation that my faith life improved. For me, when I thought I figured everything about Jesus, I was in spiritual decline.Why is that, how does “not knowing” increase faith?

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