Today we, our society, have mixed feelings about Jesus Christ. In America most have heard of Jesus yet our society’s perception is fuzzy and unclear. We all seem to embrace a different god. Some of us have connected with the Savior and live a life full of close relationship, commitment, and full of His divine purpose.
Many have rejected Him. Many believe in other gods such as Buddha, or money, power and greed. And some believe only in themselves. Out of those who associate their lives with Christ some are unable (unwilling) to embrace His love. Many problems come from a distorted view of God. One such destructive view is seeing God through the filter of our failed relationships. Someone very close to me has spent many years overcoming her picture of God from the neglected relationship with her father. The picture created says, God does care for others, but chooses not to care for me. God does heal and provide, but He chooses not to heal or provide for me. God is commanding and punishes my efforts to live a righteous life, while others are blessed. I am not good enough.
Can anyone relate to this or know someone who feels this way. It is debilitating and reflects a power hungry, angry god without compassion. She cannot see the True God. When our earthly fathers fail us, we tend to see God from the only perspective we have. Even when our fathers are good and righteous examples, we cannot fully see God through this lens. His word says, “ All have sinned and fallen short of His Glory (Romans 3:23). We cannot possibly compete with the perfection and righteousness of the God of the universe.
As a society we are not unlike many who walked with the Savior 2,000 years ago.
The crowd viewed Him as a teacher, rabbi, even a good wizard who healed the sick.
His own neighborhood rejected and hated Him. He embarrassed them before the religious community.
The Jewish religious leaders saw Him a blasphemous fool. He was a very present danger to their way of life.
There were zealots that thought He might be God and He was waiting for the right moment to crush the enemy… the Romans. He would then bring them to power to rule. Jesus died and proved He was not the god they were looking for.
His chosen disciples who dropped their nets to follow Him could not really understand His true nature and purpose.
Judas felt that if he forced Jesus to save Himself that the Christ would strike down the oppressors and begin His reign on the earth as king. Judas, confused and never seeing the truth clearly, hung himself.
What made the difference that moved the disciples from confusion to clarity. With clear purpose and confidence that changed the course of human existence forever with power to reach us today and into eternity?
Jesus’ resurrection conquered death. God brought His Spirit into the world to reside in mankind. Not only did He draw near, but also made perfectly clear who He was. In His Son Jesus, many mysteries were fulfilled from the prophets of old. He is willing to do life with us instead of observing from heaven. His love and compassion brought life to a dead world. Through Jesus’ obedience to the Father, to be the payment for our sins, God’s Spirit was poured out to touch and fill those He loves (Joel 2:28 – 32; Acts 2:14 – 21).
Suddenly all that Christ spoke of became clear. The Apostles did not just have a belief, but they had a relationship with the living, breathing creator of the universe.
He came to heal humanity and change their focus from Self, Power, and Greed compassion, devotion and willing obedience. God never changes. He took us back to the Garden of Eden in which He presented His love and protection. He also gave us the gift of choice to accept or reject. He stands by His word in allowing us to choose, but only for a season. In the near future this opportunity to enter into a relationship with Him will end. Then He will intervene and separate those who love Him from those who do not.
God’s true character:
Benevolent……. Isaiah 40:11; Luke 19:41
Loving…………John 13:1, 15:13
Humble…………Luke 22:27; Philippians 2:8
Meek, Lowly….. Matthew 11:29; Zechariah 9:9
Sinless………….2 Corinthians 5:21
Spotless…………1 Peter 1:19
Listen to how Jesus loves us.
· Most have heard of Jesus yet our society’s perception is fuzzy and unclear. Buddha, money, power, greed, self.
· Seeing God through the filter of our failed relationships
· When our earthly fathers fail us, we tend to see God from the only perspective we have.
· Even when our fathers are good and righteous examples, we cannot fully see God through this lens
· As a society we are not unlike many who walked with the Savior 2,000 years ago.
· The crowd
· His own neighborhood
· The Jewish leaders
· The zealots
· The apostles
· The inner circle (Peter, James and John)
· What made the difference that moved the disciples from confusion to clarity?
· Jesus Bore our sins and paid the price we owed
· Jesus’ resurrection conquered death
· God brought His Spirit into the world to reside in mankind
· Not only did He draw near, but also made perfectly clear who He was