In a recent conversation, I found that someone I know didn’t have much love for another person I hold dear. I immediately got defensive because I knew that this person really didn’t know my loved one that well. If they could see past the exterior, I believed that they would have a whole new respect and care for the other person.
As with every situation that leaves me feeling unsettled or uncomfortable, I asked myself what I can learn from it.
From that perspective, I thought about how and why Jesus gets a bad rap.
Whenever someone tells me they have no use for Jesus, or especially when they say they don’t like him, I can’t help but think… “Surely they don’t know my Jesus.”
But I think about the times I have personally misrepresented Jesus to others and the many ways he continues to be misrepresented by myself and others and I can see how easy it would be to look at me and say, “If that is ‘”Jesus,'” then I don’t want to know him.”
So indulge me, please, to tell you a about this Jesus guy.
Whether you love him or not, believe in him, trust in him, hate him, think he’s a fraud… he still loves you.
He doesn’t blow up buildings or people, but he did walk into the temple and drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple. Matthew 21:12-13
He confuses and angers the “Pharisees” of our day, just like he did when he walked on earth, because instead of pointing fingers at the sinners, he ate with them. Matthew 9:11
He is the Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
He is the Good Shepherd. John 10:11
He comforts those who are broken. Psalm 147:3
He sets free those who are captive to sin and bondage. Isaiah 61:1
And he is so much more.
These words to Rich Mullins’ song “Surely God is With Us,” gives us a glimpse of the Jesus I know and love.
“Well, who’s that man who thinks He’s a prophet? Well, I wonder if He’s got something up His sleeve Where’s He from? Who is His daddy? There’s rumors He even thinks Himself a king Of a kingdom of paupers Simpletons and rogues The whores all seem to love Him And the drunks propose a toast And they say, “Surely God is with us. Well, surely God is with us.” They say, “Surely God is with us today!”
Who’s that man who says He’s a preacher? Well, He must be, He’s disturbing all our peace Where’s He get off, and what is He hiding And every word He says those fools believe Who could move a mountain Who would love their enemy Who could rejoice in pain And turn the other cheek And still say, “Surely God is with us, Well, surely God is with us,” Who’ll say, “Surely God is with us today, today!” They say, “Surely God is with us Well, surely God is with us” They say, “Surely God is with us”
Blessed are the poor in spirit Heaven belongs to them Blessed are those who make peace They are God’s children I Am the Bread of Life, and the Way” You hear that Man, believe what He says!
Tell me, who’s that Man, they made Him a prisoner They tortured Him and nailed Him to a tree Well if He’s so bad, who did He threaten? Did He deserve to die between two thieves? See the scars and touch His wounds He’s risen flesh and bone Now the sinners have become the saints And the lost have all come home And they say, “Surely God is with us (Surely God is with us) Well, surely God is with us,” They say, “Surely God is with us today!” (Today!) They say, “Surely God is with us Well, surely God is with us” They say, “Surely God is with us today”
So I read these Scriptures and the words to this song and compare it to my actions and my life and I can see how easily Jesus gets a bad rap.
God help me not forget that I might be the only “Jesus” some people will ever see.