The end game for Christians is that we end up looking and sounding like Jesus. That’s supposed to be the goal. Yet I find that often we recast Jesus in our own image.
When your Jesus allows you to stay comfortable and unchallenged and never step beyond what’s familiar, it’s safe to say you’ve recast Him in your own image.
When your faith allows you to hate a person or a group of people, to mock and slander these people and wish them harm instead of seeing them as image bearers created and loved by the Creator God, then you’ve recreated Jesus to your image.
When you pick and choose which lives matter, which lives are sacred, whether they be unborn or refugee, then you have made Jesus over into your image.
When Jesus is a means to an end for financial prosperity and power and promoting your own brand, you’ve reimagined Him into your image.
When your Jesus is predictable and safe (unlike the Jesus of the Gospels), then you’re remade Jesus into your image.
When Jesus becomes a Republican or a Democrat and follows either the liberal or conservative agenda to the letter, then you’ve created Him in your own image.
When Jesus becomes a means to exclude people and ostracize those who are less hip than you rather than intentionally seeking out the least of these, then you’ve reimagined Jesus into your likeness.
When Jesus becomes another option or one of many roads instead of the way, the truth, and the life (as He Himself said), then you’ve reinvented Jesus in your image.
Jesus comforted the disturbed and disturbed the comfortable (as the saying goes). He didn’t mince words with those who trusted in their own religion and righteousness. He called young and old, rich and poor, to repent for the Kingdom of God was near. He drove people away with some of the hard truths He spoke and even His own disciples often misunderstood Him.
When your Jesus is anything other than the Jesus who told us to go into all the world and make disciples, not as a nice alternative or a suggestion but as a binding command, then your Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible.
My prayer for you and me both is that we stop trying to recreated Jesus to think and act and be like us and start being transformed by the renewing of our minds into His image until we can truly be His visible presence here and now.