How We See Him
As Teacher: Jesus taught with conviction and purpose. People flocked to hear Him, and some became avid disciples. He has been called the “Master Teacher” because of His ability to engage every segment of society and drive truth through the thick crust of the hardest heart. Mainstream corporate leadership books still reference the teaching style of Jesus as a model for mentoring and discipleship.
As Family Man: Jesus was a son and brother. He likely learned the family trade of carpentry from Joseph, and may have become the chief provider when His father died. In the gospels we catch glimpses of Jesus’ love for His mother and His family’s concern for His welfare. The common experience of family is why so many people connect strongly with the narrative of Jesus’ birth.
As Son: Jesus was a member of the “Deity” (Colossians 2:9), including Father, Son and Spirit. He was sent, forsaken and exalted and remained obedient in everything. The Father-Son dynamic revealed in scripture helps us understand the depth of love that was poured out on Calvary.
As Savior: Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and His place as Savior of the world touches on almost every major theological theme in the Bible. The words “atonement”, “redemption” and “reconciliation” are only significant in the shadow of the cross. The prophets predicted Jesus would come and the angel Gabriel confirmed He was the One. Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16).
As Politician: It was impossible for Jesus to escape the perception He had come to start a political revolution. Even His closest disciples seemed to be waiting for the action to begin (John 18:10). Simon the Zealot was a member of a group committed to anti-Roman sentiment, yet he is perhaps the most obscure of all of the original twelve disciples. Could it be he was confused by Jesus’ method of transforming the world? Today, people still use the name of Jesus to validate their political ambitions.
Whims and Trends: It has become commonplace to define Jesus for our own purposes. He is CEO, Coach, Dietitian, Radical and Revolutionary. His teaching is aligned with political platforms, government systems and social causes. I am not suggesting Jesus doesn’t have something to say to these and a variety of others topics. But we must recognize there is a difference between what we “want” to know about Jesus and what we “need” to know. If we fail to see the distinction, we might create a Jesus of our own that only vaguely resembles the one revealed in scripture.