A few years ago, as I was listening to a Christian radio station in my car, the song, “My Jesus” by Todd Agnew came on. Halfway through, my young daughter looked at me and said, “I can’t believe that guy. It’s not just his Jesus. He’s everyone’s Jesus.”
Every time I hear that song now, I think of her words. Yes, He is everyone’s Jesus. But, in many ways, He’s a different Jesus to each one of us. Our relationships with Him are so personal (or so impersonal) that how we see Him becomes a direct reflection of where we are on our journey with Him. He becomes something different in each of our lives.
To some He is the new Lord and Savior in their lives. To others, a quick prayer in times of need. To one, He might be the breath that keeps them moving through each difficult moment. While to another He has taken a back seat to their busy life.
Though we know Him, or we deny Him, He is in each of our lives, in some way, regardless.
But, do we fully let Him in? Or do we invite Him and then draw a line in the sand of how far He can go? Do we let Him save us, but then get uneasy when we are asked to represent Him to others? Do we call Him to heal us, but then hold back the painful parts of our lives that He longs to reach? Do we understand the radical viewpoint He offered the world, and yet choose not to be radical in ours so as not to offend?
The truth is, outside of a relationship with Jesus, we will view Him in the same way that the rest of the world views Him. Until you know someone, you make assumptions about them based on what others say, small experiences with them, and impressions you have about them. It’s easy to look someone over in a moment and create an image in our minds: who they are, what they do for a living, what type of house they live in, what kind of friends they have.
But often, we are quite wrong.
Even Christ fell prey to this as others misjudged Him based on who they thought He was, instead of taking the time to discover who He actually was. Viewed from the confines of this world, He was mocked for who He said He was and ridiculed for what people thought He was doing. But, as the truth of Christ was revealed, they could no longer see Him using the previous set of standards.
My Jesus has changed over the years as my faith has grown. As I grow, He reveals new facets of His character that continue to inspire and amaze me. In the beginning, He was the only one who understood. The most forgiving person I’d ever known. He led me to want to forgive others.
Then, He was a teacher. Using the Holy Spirit to show me things I never understood before. He led me to want to teach. To explain to others what it was about Him that they couldn’t see.
Lately, He is a risk taker. Someone who was willing to do anything to save others. A radical thinker who wasn’t concerned with how He was viewed by anyone but His Father. He’s leading me to be more of a risk taker too.
What does your Jesus look like? And, are you a reflection of Him?