Getting Jesus right


Yesterday’s title was “Getting the right Jesus.” This is a little different. Having the right Jesus is one thing. “Getting Jesus right” is something else. It’s all about keeping Jesus in His image, not making Him into ours. This is one of the greatest temptations in following Christ — Making Jesus in our image.

Remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” movement?

What Would Jesus Do?” was mostly about what do I think He would do, but how do I know? That becomes pretty quickly what do I want Him to do. It’s almost impossible to put Jesus into the context of our current society and try and guess what He would do. Would Jesus wear a mask? Would Jesus march in a Black Lives Matter protest march? Would He be a Republican or a Democrat? Would He go to the theater? Would He watch TV? Would He go to church? If so, which one? Would He go into a bar? I’m afraid most of our answers to these questions would be in terms of what we would do, not what Jesus would do, because we don’t have a clue what Jesus would do in these circumstances, and besides, that’s not the point. The point is: What does He want us to do?

Here’s how we should look at this instead. What did Jesus actually do when He was here? What did Jesus actually say when He was here? And based on our understanding of that, what shall we do now? That’s much closer to following Jesus than trying to guess what He would do when we’ve taken Him completely out of context to His life on earth. Based on “Getting Jesus right” in terms of His words and His actions, what should we do? That is the question.

Should you want to look into this more deeply, I highly recommend our study in Spring, 2018, on the red letters of Jesus. It’s a way of getting more familiar with the things Jesus did and said. If you go to our website <> and type in “Red Letter Review” in the search bar in the upper right corner, you will be at the first of 36 Catches on the words of Jesus. When you’ve read the first Catch (April 12, 2018) you will find the title to the next Catch also in the upper right corner. By clicking on the next Catch, you can work your way through all of them. We will be compiling them all into one document soon, but you do not have to wait for that. Those 36 Catches will go a long way towards getting Jesus right. We follow a Jesus who is in His own image, not ours.

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7 Responses to Getting Jesus right

  1. John A Fagliano says:

    The type of questions we ask shows the shallowness in our way of thinking. Would Jesus watch TV? Would Jesus go into a bar? The answers are so unimportant. What would be on the heart and mind of Jesus while He’s watching TV? Once inside a bar, what would He actually do in there? Or if Jesus has more important things to do besides watch television and hang out in bars then what are His priorities? A Jesus who simply doesn’t do things can’t be very relevant.

    Perhaps we should ask questions such as Would Jesus be jealous of friends who get to go on nice vacations? Would Jesus feel lonely? What would Jesus do if he couldn’t get to sleep at night? Would Jesus feel awkward in social situations? Even though questions like these might lead us more in the right direction there will always be that question like What would Jesus do on the first date? and suddenly we have no answer.

    What should we do? That’s the all important question and if there is any uncertainty or confusion, He already gave us all the instruction we will ever need… A.S.K. (Ask Seek Knock)

    • Your response, John, is on the right track but doesn’t quite arrive at the train depot.

      We often forget that Jesus was human in every way and faced the same desires and yearnings that are common to all of us – and His temptations were probably more insanely acute because of Who He was and Whom He belonged to than most of us will ever experience.

      So, yes, all of the unimportant and/or shallow questions may still have been profound enough for Him to consider along with, “What would My Father have Me do?”.

      Our fault lies in the fact that we speculate on things that have no value except for maybe personal mental exercise or spirited debates, but they’re mostly diversions that distract us from tending to the matters at hand.

      We start pondering the what-would’s rather than leaning into the Holy Spirit and trusting Him by faith to guide us to the appropriate conclusion. We rev our engines a lot and make a bunch of noise but, most of the time, our gearshifts are still in park! We go nowhere real fast.

      Another of our faults is that we have a tendency to put Jesus on a pedestal or in a painting or dangling from a necklace or elsewhere and idolize His image rather than worship Him in truth.

      We prefer to gaze upon and admire our stone-cold perception of a lifeless marble man-created Jesus rather than fix our eyes on the real flesh-and-blood Jesus who, being God, became man and suffered temptation, doubt, and death more deeply than any of us could comprehend.
      But, alas, for many of us the beaten and bruised very-mortal Jesus is both a little too human and grisly. His example and words might mean that we have to actually do something instead of sitting comfortably on our brains while academically processing all the what-woulds.
      We’ll never know the answers until we take those steps of faith.

      So, to paraphrase Sir Fischer above, the better question might be: What would Jesus have us do? Yes, ask, seek, knock.
      And, then, go out and do it without overanalyzing, without playing the what-would game. The opportunity is here. The time is now.
      Our time is too short to make second, third, fourth speculative guesses.
      The same Holy Spirit that was with him is with us, too.

      Be blessed. Be a blessing. Be of good cheer. Be courageous.

      Shalom, my friend….

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved Today’s Catch b/c it asked questions & let the reader decide!

    As I believe Jesus would do & be willing to discuss where in God’s Word an answer could be found or suggested…

  3. dierama says:

    I have come to the conclusion that i would like to call myself a “Red Letter Christian”. It helps me to keep priorities and goals in their proper place. Jesus two commandments come first and I use them as a lens for everything else. Love and Surrender to God which is #1 and Love your neighbor as you love yourself, treating others like you would like to be treated is #2.
    This helps immensely when confronted by rules such as do not play cards or swim on Sundays or the Sabbath. Using this lens of love makes it easy to say quickly that those are religious rules and not about following Jesus at all. Of course if I am playing cards with a kid whose parents consider it a sin then I am not honoring them and I am at fault by not showing love to them. In that case I would not play cards with the kid because I am hurting the family. that is how I use being a Red Letter Christian.

  4. jwfisch says:

    Good discussion. It really does all end up in our own laps based on what we DO. No woulds or shoulds at all.

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