From the time God the Father spoke of Christ through the Old Testament prophets, to Jesus' first coming, death, resurrection and ascension; human beings have muddled the true character, nature and purpose of the magnificent Son of God.
This false image of Christ has been created in writing, art, online media, and sadly, even from some pulpits.
Multitudes continue to depict Christ in a way that equates Him to mortal man, rather than receive Him as He is—the immortal, almighty, righteous, just, holy and good God...in human flesh.
"Now it happened that as He [Jesus] was praying alone, the disciples were with Him. And He asked them, 'Who do the crowds say that I am?' And they answered, 'John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.' Then He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' And Peter answered, 'The Christ of God.'"~Luke 9:18-20
With relativism becoming the new "religion" of choice these days, many well-meaning Christians (like myself many years ago) have fallen prey to Satan's deception that we'll never draw people to Christ by proclaiming His deity and exclusivity. The enemy has spun the lie that if we don't show how relatable Christ is to their lives, then we'll lose them; forgetting salvation is of the Lord, not us (Ps 49:7-9; 1 Cor 2:3-5; Eph 2:8-9; Rom 9:16).
In believing our enemy's lie, many of us have compromised the deity of Christ by palliating His powerful, life-giving love and works, to something that only tantalizes a person's physical senses, yet does nothing to benefit their soul (1 Cor 10:23-24).
Just because something fulfills a person's physical needs doesn't necessarily mean that it will be useful in building up their faith. As a matter of fact, we know that God often allows painful things to happen to His children as an act of His righteous and loving discipline (Prov 3:11-12; Heb 12:6-7, 11; Rev 3:19).
The Son of the Most High God was given to us as a propitiation for our sins, so that we might be freed from the bondage of sin, rescued from the wrath of God, and granted the immeasurable riches of God's kindness and love, fully manifested in the Person of Christ alone.
While it is true that Christ is able to "sympathize" with our weaknesses and temptations (Heb 4:15), that does not mean that He excuses our sinful behaviors or our worldly views of Him.
So who is Jesus to you?
Is Jesus: Savior, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Master and Shepherd of your soul and Ruler of your life? Is He the majestic King who humbled Himself in order to purchase your eternal freedom? Is He the one who is powerful enough to calm the sea with a word, yet will weep with those who weep? Is He the one who always spoke the truth because He is God and God is love?
Or is Jesus the one who understands you and therefore allows you to "just be you"? You know, the Jesus that feels more like a boyfriend, your homeboy, your buddy and pal who only says nice things that make you feel good about yourself? Is He the Jesus that the world paints effeminate portraits of and is always looking longingly at us, just hoping and waiting for us to take notice of Him?
If after reading this article, you've sadly discovered that you view Christ the Lord merely as your sympathizer, don't be discouraged, repentance is only a prayer away. Remember, Christ set you free from the fear of God's judgment and provided you the freedom to come to the throne of grace, knowing that in Christ, you are accepted by God and are granted continual audience with the Almighty (Heb 4:16, 10:19-22).
Three good, heart motive questions are:
- Am I reading Scripture to know God more only so I can love Him better? (Ex 34:5-7; Mk 12:30)
- Am I reading Scripture only to feel good or to be good? (Ps 55:20-21; 2 Tim 4:3-4)
- Am I reading Scripture to understand God's point of view or prove my point of view? (Jer 9:23-24)
One of the Scriptures I pray regularly is Psalm 139:23-24. It's a loving and contrite prayer that can help you cultivate the habit of demonstrating your love and trust to God our Father.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"
I pray that God will demonstrate His faithfulness by opening your eyes to His true character, so that you may see Him (Matt 5:8), and that others may see Him, through you (Matt 5:16; 2 Cor 4:7).