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Does our version of Jesus exist?
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Men often weigh their experiences, opinions, family history and views filtered through the words of friends and influences to arrive at an identity of Jesus. Learning Jesus through an honest study of scripture will be more productive.
Jesus asked his apostles, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" (Matthew 16:13).
They listed some of the popular answers and then Jesus asked the powerful question concerning his identity that stands face to face with all of us:
"But who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15).
Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16).
The person who finds the moral parameters of God too restrictive views Jesus as repressive or receptive of their behavior, depending on their conscience and upbringing. The former sees Jesus as the source of repression. The latter cannot appease their conscience so their minds reorient their beliefs so they can continue in their sins while holding to the facade of self-justification.
In John 6:60-67, we find strong evidence that Jesus never backed down from what he taught. He allowed his disciples to leave rather than compromise truth.
In John 12:17-19, the Pharisees renounce Jesus because their prejudices overpowered what their senses were witnessing. They were seeing Jesus improperly because they had not laid down their sinful ways and approached Him with an open heart. However, The Greeks came to "see Jesus," meaning that they wanted to interview him (John 12:20-21). They were on a quest for truth with their hearts and minds receptive to Jesus.
May we all be willing to hear Jesus for what He says rather than what we think He says. We must throw away our filters and approach Scripture like little children, eager to listen and learn (Matthew 11:28-30).
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