There was this old quote I read recently by a long-dead world reformer. He said – “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
I am sure you probably get what he was trying to say. But the funny thing is that he like most people have only talked about a little part of the problem.
So, what is the problem? The problem is not always that Christians are unlike Christ, it’s that most of us (including the guy I mentioned) don’t really know who Jesus is.
We pick a part of something Jesus said, make it the whole of who Jesus is and “voila” we have a Jesus that we can make into any world-view we like.
I came across a few things about the God-man Jesus that got me thinking more about who He is. And here goes
I don’t know if you remember this story from Luke’s account of Paul’s missionary work.
Paul had come up with an evangelistic strategy and had pinpointed the new areas he wanted to get in. But as it would turn out, God had other plans.
First, God would not allow Paul to go into Asia. “Ok, off to plan B, let’s get into Bithynia” Paul must have thought. The problem here – God still would not let him go. At this time, Paul gets the memo. “No need to move to new territories. I might as well take my time and wait for new instructions”. So, off they went down to Troas. It was while he was here that he would “perceive” that God said it was time for Macedonia to hear the gospel. Acts 16:6-10
The funny thing is that Paul never really heard God say “Go to Macedonia”, he just came to that conclusion from something he saw while he slept.
Did you ever hear the story of the boiling frog? The boiling frog is a parable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive.
The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that arise gradually. While the message it is trying to teach is one to remember, the story itself is faulty.
You see, modern biologists have tested that a frog even gradually heated will jump out. It feels the heat and out it jumps.
You are not the only one who feels duped. I was on the believing end of that story until not too long ago.
I was listening to a podcast where the interviewee shared a story.
According to her, there was this woman she knew from afar. The woman would worship in church and show signs of incredible emotional experience with God, sometimes weeping in worship. In addition, she also volunteered in Church.
Then something would happen in her life (as it always does for all of us), discouragement, someone speaks bad of her, a conflict at home and she wouldn’t just become sad or discouraged. She would go into outrageously risky behavior.
And then a couple of weeks later she would be back – worshipping, weeping, volunteering in church before another incident and she would be back into the “outrageously risky behavior”
She wondered what was the problem with her. A counselor friend diagnosed the problem.
Did you ever notice how the gospel of Luke starts?
I never noticed anything different about it until recently*. The gospel starts with this declaration by Luke
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-3
Luke kind of starts off saying, “I’m not doing anything extra-special“, “a couple of guys have done it too” “But here is my shot at it“.
But why would he invest his life in doing something so un-unique?