July 26, 2012 by Cole Ryan
Recently everyone has been talking about “making Jesus famous”.. but isn’t He already? Don’t millions of people use His name in vain everyday? Don’t we even base our time around Him? Isn’t it roughly 2012 years from the day He was born? Isn’t His birthday the most celebrated birthday ever? Jesus really doesn’t need to be made famous, He needs to be made known, there’s a difference. I mean, plenty of people know His name, but how many people really know His character?
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding who Jesus really is; hatred, judgment, hypocrisy, and condemnation are just a few things associated with Him, and these misconceptions and false understandings are a result of the way Christians behave, and we behave this way, we behave judgmentally, hypocritically, and condemningly because we don’t even know who Jesus really is.
John chapter 8, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is where the Pharisees and the religious leaders would gather so that Jesus could teach them. They were His followers, some might consider them Christians. The religious men brought in a woman, a prostitute, a home-wrecker, a sinner. They had her stand before the group, and they said to Jesus “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.” They were right, by law they were commanded to stone her, which by definition is a form of punishment, or execution. They asked Jesus “what do you say?” what do You think we should do, Jesus? Well, He replied; “all right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” His followers, the religious men, left, they went away, one by one, because they knew that they had all sinned (Romans 3:23). If anyone had the right to throw a stone at the woman it would have been Jesus because He has never sinned, but even He did not condemn her, He did not judge her, He did not stone her. Isn’t that who Jesus is? Kind, compassionate, loving. Christians, Jesus’ followers, are the ones throwing stones at other sinners. While Jesus, the only person who has never sinned, isn’t even doing so. John 8 is a great example of what is going on today.
Even when Jesus was hanging naked on the cross – when He was being mocked, spit on, beaten, cursed out, laughed at on the cross – He said; “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Isn’t that who Jesus is? Understanding, unconditional, forgiving. The cross is a perfect example of who He really is.
So who is Jesus? He isn’t a list of rules and regulations, He definitely isn’t a religion. He’s the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), He is a God who wants a relationship with us, and He is not who everyone thinks He is. Once we begin to understand that Jesus came to save us from condemnation (Romans 8:1 – There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus), came to save us from hatred, and came to save us from the consequences of sin, it will revolutionize Christianity and the way people perceive it. Christians might condemn you, they might come down on you, but Jesus is nothing like that. As Christians we need to figure out who exactly we are following and begin to follow Him. You won’t hear that very much in church because it’s convicting, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s true.
“The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Brennan Manning