Photo credit: Pinterest, Son of God Movie
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,”~John 14:6.
I posed the question during the worship series, “Which God are we worshipping?”
If we worship the “God” created in our own image we become more selfish, & self centered. When we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we become more like Jesus.
So the question posed in this post is which Jesus are you following?
I’ve had the honor of talking to numerous people about their thoughts on Jesus. He’s a great prophet some say. He’s loving and kind and forgiving. And for some He’s still hanging on a cross being crucified for our sins. If you go on social media there are many things about Jesus that are antibiblical, antichrist, and opposite to the character of God. We need to know who we are following.
I want to investigate the Jesus written about in the Bible. It’s good to understand His full nature. Last post we established Jesus is the Son of God. He is Supreme over all. This post I would like to talk about the character of Jesus and His invitation to follow.
Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. He perfectly represented the heart and nature of the Father.
“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does”,~John 5:19
Jesus aligned His life with heaven. There was no sin in Him.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth,~1 Peter 2:22.
Jesus invited people to deny themselves and follow Him…
I can only find instances in the Bible where Jesus asked people to follow Him. Following implies submission, obedience, listening, and abiding. He’s not only friend, He’s Lord. Here’s a passage where Peter decided to tell Jesus He would not be crucified.
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done,~Matthew 16: 23-27.
Jesus was no people pleaser…
Jesus walked the earth and offended people. He offended the religious systems of His day. He offended some of His disciples. He offended the culture of His time by empowering women and mingling with sinners and tax collectors. He did things that were unconvential and unprecedented. He turned over tables in the temple. He called the Pharisees blind guides, bloody vipers, and children of Satan.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it,~Matthew 23:15-22.
Jesus was and is serious about cultivation of relationship.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”~Luke 6:46.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’~Matthew 7:21-23.
Jesus cares about the sick, hurting, poor, and oppressed. He devoted His ministry to caring for people.
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him,~Matthew 20:34.
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him,~Acts 10:38.
Jesus came to redeem the lost, free humanity from the power of sin and death.
And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death,~Romans 8:2.
Jesus told people to repent and sin no more…to abide in Him.
Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”~John 8:11b
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,~John 15:5.
Jesus is love. He is filled with compassion, joy, hope, life, truth, and honor. He reaches low to lift humanity higher. He is the resurrected King. He gave His life for relationship. Part of that relationship is following. In order to follow Jesus we must know who He is. We have the Bible that gives us insight into the person of Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit who continually reveals Jesus. He offered us the key to relationship in John 15:5. He tells us to abide. May we investigate the God we say we are following and continually encounter Him.