A lady I
met a while back told me that "her Jesus" would
not overthrow tables of commerce as Jesus
did in the temple. This told me something
about her mental image of Jesus, and it certainly
is not Biblically
accurate. Her Jesus is meek, mild and tolerates
just about everything.
This lead me to wonder if we have an
accurate mental image of Jesus, and from where we derive our image
of Him. This lady derived her thinking from her own imagination.
My guess is
that others find their mental image of Jesus from the accounts
given to us in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
If our concept of Jesus only comes
from the gospels, do we actually have an accurate Biblical mental image of
Jesus? Youíve probably guessed my answer is "No".
We should not limit our understanding
of who Jesus is based on only what we
have seen in the gospels. This is because
there is more to be understood.
What Jesus did and said while He was here on
the earth, as
seen in the gospels, was in direct relation to who He is and
of His ministry.
Christ Jesus' ministry dictated, to a
degree, the things He said and did.
He was a
loving and caring servant of God, ready to die for our salvation.
He came to save the world,
and not to
condemn the world.
This is found in John 3:16-17.
Now that He
has fulfilled His earthly ministry, do you think His present ministry might
have some bearing on what He says and does as well, and if so, where do we
learn about this?
I am not suggesting that Jesus is
schizophrenic, nor that He is now different than
who He was when He was incarnate on the earth.
He has not
changed. I am
merely saying that for the most part the gospel accounts show us one side of
Jesus while He was on earth. There
is another side to
Jesus of which we only see glimpses in the gospels.
We need to look
elsewhere to see this other side of Jesus.
For example, the Book of Hebrews
says that Jesus is our High Priest forever. Right now at this exact moment
while you read this article, and throughout all eternity, Jesus is and will
be our High Priest. Do you know that we
will still need a High Priest in
Heaven? As High Priest, He
is constantly representing us before God (the
Father), much like
a lawyer would represent his client before a judge. Are you
not glad that you
have Jesus as your heavenly lawyer?
You should be, because you certainly
need Him as your lawyer, and so do I. (Heb. 7:17, 25,
The book of Revelation gives us a
clear picture as to the real picture of Jesus, especially in light of His present
ministry. To me, what we see of Jesus in
Revelation is earth shattering, and probably demolishes many peoples' flimsy mental images of the King we serve.
John described the physical
representation of Jesus that he saw in Revelation 1:13 Ė 16.
Jesus was dressed in
a long robe with a golden sash around His chest.
His head and hair were as
white as snow. His eyes could pierce through anything because they were like
a blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing from being in a furnace of
fire. His voice was like Niagara Falls
(This is my personal
interpretation). From His mouth
extends a sharp double-edged sword.
His face is described as like the brightness of the sun.
How long could you look directly into the sun and not go blind? A
very difficult thing to do.
Without explaining this description
of Jesus in detail, I think you would agree that the Jesus pictured here does
not look like the Jesus who walked the hills of Galilee. John saw an
extremely powerful majestic Jesus, and could not stand in His presence.
"fell at Jesusí feet as though he were dead". You
could say that the very presence of Jesus
knocked the wind out of John.
Now look at some of the things that
Jesus actually said to the seven churches of Revelation, some of which may
be quite astounding to those who have a meek and mild image of Jesus.
To the church at Ephesus Jesus said,
"yet, I hold this against youÖ" Did you know that Jesus can hold something
against us? How does that fit into your mental image?
Jesus then said, "if
you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand", meaning,
remove 'your church and its witness'.
In Revelation 1:20, church equals lampstand. Would Jesus actually discard part of His
church (Rev. 2:4-6)? It appears He
would. I think we have got many examples of discarded churches today.
To the church at Pergamum
Jesus said, (Rev. 2:16) "repent Ö otherwise I will soon come to you and
fight against them with the sword of my mouth". "Them" refers to those in
the church who hold to the teaching of Balaam. Here we see Jesus as one who
fights against people in the church. Iíve heard of church people fighting
each other, but Jesus fighting church people, thatís something else.
In Rev. 2:20 we see that Jesus has
something against the church at Thyatira too. Jesus was very upset with this
church because they "tolerated" (a very relevant word, donít you think) a
false prophetess who was leading some of His people astray. In verse 22 He
says that He will cast her into a bed of suffering and kill her children.
What? Did Jesus really say that?
3:14-22, Jesus told the church at Laodicea
that He would spit them out of His mouth because they were lukewarm.
He would rather have them cold instead of lukewarm. You would think lukewarm would
be better than cold, but not in Jesusí eyes.
Does your mental image of Jesus
include spitting church people out of His mouth? I
have seen a few paintings
of Jesus, but I have never seen Him spitting in any of them.
I do not want to be unbalanced in my
depiction of Jesus by saying what I have said.
Yet I think that
we have been
unbalanced in our portrayal of who Jesus really is in our
vision of Him. I say
this only to
bring some balance back into the picture. If our mental image of Jesus
does not include what we see in Revelation, then our mental image of the One
we serve is not correct.
Jesus is not always meek, mild, and
quiet spoken. He is the King and the final authority over all there is, both
material and spiritual. At times He will show His displeasure, and will if
necessary bring severe judgment, even to His own people.
So that I do
not to leave you in too much fear, open your Bible to Revelation 5: 5-6 and see another
accurate description of Christ
Jesus. John was prompted to turn around and see "the Lion of the tribe of Judah",
the only one powerful enough to open the seven seals of
the scroll. Being fearful of
seeing this Lion, John probably nervously turned around to see the Lion. To
his amazement he saw "the Lamb of God". Godís Lion in this case was a Lamb.
How grateful and relieved John must have felt. Jesus is both Lion and Lamb.
Heís not just a lamb, and Heís not just a lion. Heís both.
To be loved and revered.
I am not exactly sure how I will feel
when I meet Christ Jesus face to face on that "great and terrible day" as the Kings
James Version describes that day. However, I think I will shrink in
be trembling with excitement,
and then fall as dead as
did John. Yet as Jesus touched John on the
shoulder, He will touch me, and I will melt in the presence of His great love