It seems that in today’s society Jesus has been given the image of timid, meek, and mild. He is known as a great teacher, fantastic person, and even a prophet. Someone who, if he was around today, would be fine with the divides in the Christian church, happy that the rest of the world is trying to deny Israel their own land, and even go on the Oprah show and agree with her that all beliefs will lead you to the same eternal destiny.
Many of you will realize that much of that is hogwash, and that the Christ would never stand for these things. But I’m sure that most people who read this will have missed the tag “if he was around today.” And even now, I bet several are wondering why I’m bringing that up. I’m bringing that up because he isn’t dead. I don’t mean that like Elvis is dead, I mean that he resurrected and was raised into Heaven where he waits for his return. Again, I bet many are thinking that these mean the same thing.
I would argue against it. As the physical resurrection is a defining characteristic of the Christian faith, I think his physical ascension is grouped in with that.
People seem to get this meek and even timid image of Christ through certain verses where he shows total compassion for what we think of as major sinners. John 8 when Jesus stops the stoning of the adulteress, or when he stayed with Zacchaeus in Luke 19. What people seem to be missing here is the total courage in doing what is right no matter what. Courage and solid standing on truth and what is right is not something you think when you think of a timid, meek man.
One would be thought to be crazy and completely untrustworthy if they said in court that someone who destroyed a money changing station and moved several shops inventory out in the streets while whipping at the people running the shops. But this is just what we see that Jesus did in John 2. The complete and total perversion of the temple angered the God in Christ.
This brings up a very important point. Jesus was God in human form. You cannot remove that part of him. I hear people all the time talk about how he was such a great and moral teacher and prophet. These people will go on and on and talk about why Christians are so wrong and that if they would simply follow the example of Jesus that they would be so much better. I have to admit, there is some validity to that statement. If Christians would actually follow the example Christ shared, things would look a lot different. But we are still left with this tear from truth. Unlike popular thinking today, there are not multiple truths out there. There has to be a hard, definite truth for us to follow. People believe that all religions are the same because so many of them try to teach similar moral principles. But they are all vastly different, and anyone who sincerely does an adult study (even a brief study) in the major religions of the world would recognize that.
How would someone be a great teacher if the foundation of his teachings were based on a lie? If he couldn’t be honest about that, how can we believe anything else that he said? Jesus said he was God. Either he was actually God in human form, or he was a liar and that makes him neither great nor moral. Even his own disciples doubted his divinity when he was crucified. It wasn’t until his return, his resurrection, that they fully believed. And Jesus promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide them and give them the strength and courage to go and fulfill their mission. No one can deny the change that the disciples had after Jesus’ ascension. They denied him, separated, hid, and cowarded. For good reason, the person they were following and learning how to teach from had just been killed in the most painful and most humiliating way possible because of what he was teaching. So if not for his physical resurrection and the gifts from the Spirit, why would they come back together and teach him and his teachings to the world? Why would they teach while being stoned, imprisoned, killed? It makes no sense whatsoever that they did this to spread a simple lie.
Jesus was far from timid while he was here, which gives us much insight that he’s not timid now and won’t be when he returns. Not only was Jesus not timid, he didn’t leave his disciples with a spirit of timidness. This conception of Christ is false. He wasn’t timid, he didn’t leave the apostles timid, neither does he want you to be. Go out and live your life for Christ with courage and confidence.