The “Real” Jesus

When asked about his taste in music, Ray Charles was once quoted as saying,

“There’s only two kinds of music, those kinds being good and bad”

and that’s a statement to which I wholeheartedly agree!

I’m not a big fan of most Christian music, sadly, like so many endeavors which are labeled as “Christian” it seems as though the quality of the products produced are lower than those of their secular counterparts. When people talk about books, music, movies or whatever which are produced by Christians inevitably you’ll hear their work patronized with statement’s such as

“It was pretty good, for a Christian writer,musician,comedian,etc…”

As if there’s an unspoken but well understood lower standard involved.

And that’s messed up…

I consider myself to be a fairly typical person, but then again perhaps I’m just caught up in my own “delusions of adequacy.”  I think perhaps a case could be made either way regarding me, but I digress. When I meet people I hope they notice something different about me, I would hope that they would perhaps feel loved in some way! I don’t wear a crucifix outside of my shirt for people to see or have a WWJD wrist bracelet on. If I’ve never met you before, I probably won’t ask you where you attend church within the first ten minutes of a conversation. Some people stress about sharing the gospel or “witnessing” as it’s called, but sometimes the most “Christ-like” thing we can do is just to listen to people.

When people meet me I don’t want them to see a stereotype, I want them to meet the real me.

I am a Christian, but I’m not “Ned Flanders”…(nothing against Ned)

I think that Jesus was a very real person!

Not only in a physical sense but also in terms of how He related to people out of a genuine love for them.

Throughout the bible Jesus’ personality is displayed in many ways. Some of my favorite examples are from His various confrontation’s with the scribes and pharisee’s. This one in particular speaks to me of His sense of humor in dealing with them.

Matthew 9:5

For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

Jesus perceives their thoughts accusing Him of blasphemy after His forgiveness of sins. I can imagine Him being somewhat confounded by their attitudes, but His reaction is to love and teach them.  He begins by turning the question back on them by asking “whether is easier” which is actually rhetorical in that He knows they can’t truthfully say or do either. Jesus seems to be seeking counsel from these great scholars of the law while simultaneously proving Himself to be God and them to be fools!

Jesus, you crack me up!

Another of the more prevalent stereotypes of Christian people has to do with the idea that all of them are pacifists. The perception is of them being people who would never raise their voice in anger or resort to violence under any circumstances.  It doesn’t say in John’s gospel what if anything might of happened to Jesus that day as He traveled to Jerusalem to observe the passover but apparently,

“He was in no mood”

to discover what was going on in the temple that day…

John 2:14-15

14And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

During his lifetime here on earth Jesus was a real man with real feelings just like each of us! He had a sense of humor, He could feel pain and sorrow, He could even become angry! It’s a comfort to me to know that being a Christian doesn’t mean we should be always happy or always be serious and sad like the stereotypes portray. I just want to be the person God intended me to be, no more and certainly no less! Helping people do just that is something Jesus was very good at, He brought comfort to the afflicted, and affliction to the comforted!

I think that it’s so important for Christian people to be “real”, and to not be perceived as being out of touch with the very real struggles that people they might meet are going through. Jesus had great compassion for people who were stuck in the “miry clay” of sin. He understood the temptation’s of this world and the depravity of mans soul that drives him to do something, even if it’s wrong, to fill that void in his heart. He didn’t judge people for having the need which I feel is a critical first step that’s necessary for people to be comfortable enough with us and to trust us enough to actually confide in us about the sin and spiritual needs in their lives so that we might have a “real” opportunity to share the real Jesus with them!

Author: altonwoods

I've always loved to write...and since I've discovered blogging it's been my pleasure to share my perspectives and experiences with the whole world!

22 thoughts on “The “Real” Jesus”

  1. I agree with you brother. We need to be sincere witnesses for the Lord without portraying ourselves as unnatural stereotypes, or being anything less than genuine disciples.

    1. Thank you for your comment!

      God has a unique plan for each of our lives that’s especially suited to us and our gifts. We serve God best when we’re true to it!

      Remain Greatly Blessed!

  2. Good Post.

    The sad thing about Ned Flanders is that he IS so like many Christian men.

    I also agree with you, stick the word Christian in front of something…it invariably gets worse.

    Christian music (too much sounds exactly the same) but Larry Norman wrote & performed some fantastic stuff….The Outlaw being my favourite.

    Oh, by the way…carry on being “fairly typical” there are more than enough Ned Flanders already.

    Stephen

    1. Stephen, I wasn’t sure that you would know who Ned Flanders is! His character is rather amusing but in real life the stereotype seems to put people off…

      Larry Norman? I’ll check him out!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. I think we as Christians get this reputation of somehow being better than others or that just by knowing Christ we will forever have a smile on our face and that we will beam with happiness. That’s not the case at all.

    We came to Christ just as broken, just as hurt and just as screwed up as the people that are scared off by the word “Christian”. Its our job to show others that the ground is level at the foot of the cross for all of us!

    1. WOW! AMEN! I once heard a lady comment that the problem with most Christians is that they have become the “spoiled” children of God…That they had forgotten or taken for granted what Jesus had done for them personally!

      One of my favorite quotes is,

      “But for the grace of God,there go I”

      I hope you had a great vacation Luke!

      1. I did thanks. It was way better than I could ever have imagined. Alley Mill/Spring is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Klepzig Mill was awesome although I don’t know the rental car company would be near as happy if they saw the road to it🙂 We had a wonderful time.

  4. Great post. It’s strange, isn’t it, it should be simple for Christ followers to be real, because everything that is not real has been exposed to us (and in us). Yet, for generations, there was this idea that we had to put on a face; flawed/forgiven is all any of us are.

  5. Great word. I love the idea of being human as the holiest thing we can do. There is a huge difference between having the character of Christ revealed in our unique personalities and being a charicature of Christ by conforming ot Christian culture.

    1. Thanks for the visit and comment!

      We can make real connections with people through our empathy and compassion if we care enough to walk with them through their trials and to share with them our own past or present struggles!

  6. I have been following a blog called STATEMENT ANALYSIS( http://seamusoriley.blogspot.com/2010/08/cindy-anthony-letter-statement-analysis.html ) and during one of the posts I was struck by the analyst’s comment in a crime case.:

    “I do not wish to insult anyone’s belief regarding eschatology, but you will see a common thread in all of Cindy’s religious beliefs, as she expresses them:

    They all seem to serve her own wants and needs; just as Casey’s religious sentiments do in her letters. They both hold to the same beliefs: and these beliefs all bow down to the two of them, affirming their needs, and allowing them both to alleviate their consciences.

    Cindy, like Casey, uses religious language but does not include “lying” or “murdering”.

    In the “lake that burns with fire” are found “murderers” and “liars”. The nature of symbolic language is not difficult to understand. If Cindy wishes to dismiss the text as merely symbolic, we know that the nature of symbolic language is that the reality is much larger than the symbol, just as an American Flag can be tiny, and fit on a lapel, yet it represents 300,000,000 people. In Cindy’s religion, there is a god who justifies both Casey’s and Cindy’s behaviors, rather than rebuke them.

    I understand commentators’ anger when they say that Cindy Anthony bears the Name of God in vain. Cindy is upset and attempts to quiet the anger with religious language, including eschatology.”

    That sums up exactly why I cringe at the term Christian…Unfortunately the loudest Christians are the type described above…they are the ones remembered.

    Liked your post!

  7. Yes. I think I found a cyber kindred spirit. I put a link to your blog on mine & hope all of my readers come here for encouraging truth. Thanks.

    1. Hey thanks for the link and for your comment and mostly, thank you because you “get me”.

      Romans 12:2 (King James Version)

      And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

  8. I think sometimes people associate Christian writer’s/ film makers and musicians with that lower quality stigma because for so long the churches were very poor and things were done on a budget. But I agree it’s a stigma that needs to go away. Times have changed.
    I also think it’s mostly people who are afraid. After all aren’t we God fearing people? When Christian media leaves the church it comes in your house, in your car, on your TV and I think people are afraid it because it reminds them all the time that someone is watching them and all the good and bad they do. Unfortunately, a lot of people want to leave God in the church and come home and be human.
    Just opinion. I don’t know too much about it. I don’t attend church but I am a non-denominational Christian that was raised Catholic.

  9. I’m with you on the Christian music… I ‘try’ to listen to it, but often find myself just critical. Oh well. I still have my favorites, though.

    I am always happy to see Jesus resurrected as a real man. I love the way you spoke of wanting others to see you as “real”, not as some fabricated version of what a Christian is supposed to look and talk like. Once again, I’m with you there. When I read the scriptures these days, I am much more likely to read between the lines and see the humor, the bad moods, the annoyances, the dust and dirt going on than I used to. And it is comforting.

    Great post!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Brad,

      It’s just so frustrating and sadly ironic that our “religion” is what’s keeping us from telling people about Jesus…Or what’s keeping them from hearing us.

  10. Hello!!

    Good post. I don’t know about ‘Christian’ music but I think a lot of our modern day psalms can be found in ‘secular’ music. Check out Mumford & Sons (The Cave, Sign no More and Awake my soul). I also think a lot of Snow Patrol’s lyrics could be construed as spiritual, ok they are probably written about a girl but the imagery is very powerful when applied to God.

    The rest of your post is a great challenge. Until the end of July I was working as a PSCO in the english police, now I’m working for a church (again) telling my former colleagues what I intended to do gave me a great opportunity to witness, but I think I probably bottled going the whole hog. Instead of being true to myself and pointing them to Jesus I would tell them that the traditional stuff isn’t as important to me as living a good and moral life. It felt good to be making them think and I convinced myself I was doing God proud, but a good and moral life is dead without Jesus, now I wish that I had said that extra line, that I had explicitly told them who’s life I had to imitate to do that. Instead I only went as far as I judged they would accept/think cool.

    I would feel worse about this, but today I hit the local shopkeeper with the whole shebang, so you know, I’m learning….

  11. I hardly, hardly, hardly ever listen to Christian music, with the exception being a little Third Day and Need to Breath. My big disagreement is that it all sounds the same. It’s boring.

    I’m pretty much the same way – with a few exceptions – on Christian books, which is funny because – HELLO – I write Christian books.

    Like you, I try to be real, and wait for the Lord to open the door on witnessing. I believe in building relationships and making friends, rather than being a scripture spouting guy.

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