Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Divided About Jesus

As I have read through the book of John one of the things that have hit me is how people were divided over who Jesus is. Even the Pharisees, the group of people we talk about opposing Jesus were divided by Jesus (John 9:16).

In John 10:19 we again see that people were divided over Jesus: When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him(NLT). People we divided because Jesus provided something of a paradox for them. On the one hand Jesus taught with great authority and insight. On the other hand Jesus did not obey the culture expectations of the day, he was not always a "good" Jew.

The centuries really have changed much. People are still divided over exactly who Jesus is. Some want to classify him as a good teacher who was able to give profound spiritual insight. Some may elevate him to the position of prophet, a man of God giving people a word from God. Others may not be so kind and label Jesus as a liar who led people astray, or worse yet, the invention of people. People are still divided about who Jesus is.

As a person who claims to follow Jesus it is very important that I understand who Jesus is to the best of my ability. It is so easy, even by looking at the biblical account, to create Jesus in our image. To make a Jesus we are comfortable with, who will support our agendas, and promote our world view. Even within the Church their are some many different ideas of who Jesus is, how He lived, and what He taught.

I think we need to spend some time trying to discover, to the best of our ability, who Jesus is. We need to make an effort to understand the culture in which Jesus lived and the context of His teaching. Sure it is easier to engage the text at just the surface level, but I have come to believe that we have missed so much of the truth God has for us by not digging deeper into the text.

While people will always be divided over who Jesus is, we have a responsibility to put the effort to discover Jesus for who He is and what He taught. When we commit ourselves to such a study we will be blessed by getting to know Jesus for who He is rather than just who we imagine Him to be.

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