I believe it has never been more important for the Church and the world to know the real Jesus than it is right now. By “the real Jesus” I mean the only source able to satisfy every human need and longing; every desire to be loved, known and accepted; every hope to have a life of value, worth and purpose.
These things aren’t found in the world. Our culture is fully focused on American Idol-type
fame, telling us we’ll be satisfied by money or good looks or
popularity. As lovers of God we know that our deepest desires can be
satisfied only by Christ.
And yet knowing this, we in the Church often try to reduce Jesus to
our own image. Many of us want a Jesus who suits us—a right-wing
Republican Jesus or a liberal-leaning Democratic Jesus. There is a black
Jesus, a brown Jesus, a white Jesus (whom I call the Holiday Inn
Jesus—the one with blow-dried, blond hair who seems to float through the
When I speak of “the real Jesus,” I mean the One who satisfies every
human hunger and thirst. He cannot be reduced to some limited conception
because the Bible says Christ can be known only in His fullness. It
takes the whole counsel of God—the full biblical picture—for us to
receive, know and faithfully serve Jesus. “From his fullness we have all
received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16, ESV). In short, we are able to walk in Christ’s grace only as we know Him fully. Anything else is a diminished walk of faith.
John also says, “He came to his own, and his own people did not
receive him” (1:11). This speaks of Christ’s rejection by the Jews, but
how much of our Lord do we ignore today? Do we emphasize some of His
teachings over others because some are uncomfortable? To what degree
have we not accepted Jesus in His fullness?