When I found out I wasn’t following the real Jesus, I was totally undone. The hard work of making Jesus fit my brain, answer when I called, and label me righteous was a full-time job that robbed me of peace. When I finally fell into the loving arms of the real Jesus, I began a genuine relationship with the Savior of the world—the One who died for me.
He is everything He promised and so much more. Our culture presents us with so many versions of Jesus, letting us make Him in our own image. Maybe you’ve come to depend on a false Jesus and didn’t even realize it. If you are struggling to find peace, read about these false Jesuses with an open mind. Consider what Jesus said about Himself and test your beliefs against the truth from Scripture.
Here are 10 false Jesus-es you keep falling for:
1. Mean Jesus
Perhaps this image of Jesus comes from social media and the rants we see from devoted churchgoers. Maybe it is our constant news sources bickering over who is better. Or it could be you had a hellfire and brimstone pastor growing up, and this became your earliest depiction of Jesus. Mean and angry, full of wrath, ranting and raging about how sin would destroy you. But balance this image of Jesus with the story of the little children gathering to him, with his compassion for the sisters of Lazarus, with his acceptance of the woman at the well. While Jesus called out sin when He saw it, He was never cruel. Jesus, the lamb, went to slaughter so that you would be free.
2. Political Jesus
How would Jesus vote? Since there were no Democrats or Republicans in His day, we don’t know. What we do know is that He loved. The side He took was the side of the those in need. Today, we are all in need in one form or another, and we all need Him. As a believer in Jesus Christ, He is on your team. He is for you. He is for your redemption. He is for your sanctification. He died for you while you still sinned. Right or left, wrong or right, He is for you. He is patient with us as we learn and grow and understands the frustrations that we face. He walks with us through the valleys, and He delights in our newfound wisdom and growth.
3. Genie in a Bottle Jesus
Your wish is not necessarily His command. We’re often mystified when we clasp our hands tightly together and summon Jesus to answer our every request…and nothing happens. We become deflated by what we believe is unanswered prayer, allowing our faith to increase or decrease by what we perceive. If you’re a parent, chances are you desire a good relationship with your child. But if your child asks for $10 and you say no, does that mean they stop believing in you and the relationship is destroyed? Of course not. In the same way, you must consider what you are asking of Jesus. What are your expectations? And are you still going to believe in Him even when you don’t get your way?
4. I’ll Teach You Jesus.
Imagine what your relationship with your child would look like if these were some of the requirements: You will meet me at 5:00 every morning, I don’t care if you didn’t sleep. Now tell me what you want. I may or may not give it to you. If you have been completely impossible to deal with, I might sprain your ankle or give you a brain tumor to teach you something. Laughable? Sure. But how many of us believe in this works-based and punishment-loving Jesus? He died while we still sinned. He came to bind up the brokenhearted, not break our hearts and spirits to keep us in line.
5. You Look Like You Can Take It Jesus.
“God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Do I look like I can handle cancer? Or bankruptcy, or a natural disaster, or the death of a child? Do I even look like I could handle an itchy rash? Scripture teaches that we can’t handle anything apart from Christ. Far from doling out sickness or discomfort or tragedy, He promises to be with us in times of need. In our weakness, He shows Himself strong.
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