Thoughts about Jesus

I’m a Jesus follower. Meaning, I believe Jesus is the only way to God, like He says He is. I believe Him to be the Savior. I’m not a perfect Jesus follower. I’m not even a very good one. Not by a long shot. For one thing, Jesus says to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. I don’t do that. I love myself way too much. But, I figure if Jesus is really God, and if His aim is to make me more like Himself, then He will use all the stuff in my life to do that. To make me more like Him. To help me love in ways that don’t make sense apart from His help. You don’t have to convince me that I need a complete overhaul of my heart in order to do that. Because I wake up every day pretty keenly aware that I don’t have that kind of sacrificial love on my own. I need Him. Like, every hour I need Him.

Being a Jesus follower does create some problems. For one thing, Jesus is exclusive. Meaning, He says that He’s the only way to God, so if I’m gonna follow Him, I can’t accept that there is any other way. And that’s pretty problematic. Because it’s not exactly socially acceptable to say such things. It might make someone really angry or hurt their feelings. And I never ever want to make people angry or hurt their feelings. But, if Jesus is the only way, and I actually believe Him, then why would I ever accept another way that didn’t get me to God? Or why would I encourage someone else to choose another path that didn’t get them to God? That wouldn’t make any sense.

Sometimes I get really afraid. Because the Bible talks about how people in Jesus’ day hated Him. And that there will always be people who hate Jesus and people who hate those that follow Him. And my goodness, who wants to be hated? And we live in a world that experienced the Holocaust, which, in my opinion, revealed the worst kinds of cruel and ugly hate that could come from a human’s heart. And I never want to be hated in that way, or for my kids to be hated in that way. But, I love Jesus. So, I get scared sometimes of what could happen someday if we were forced to deny Him. Because in the past, people have been forced to reject Christ or die, and the Bible says that those sorts of things will happen again. I don’t like that part of the Bible. I don’t like that part of life. But, again, I figure if Jesus is God and He tells us about 365 times in the Bible not to be afraid, and that He’ll never ever leave us, then He’ll help me. No matter what. And He’ll help my kids and I can trust Him. Because the reality of heaven changes everything. And by that, I mean that God can compensate in eternity the wrongs that are suffered here for a little while. So, I cling to that, though it all makes me sad and sometimes scared out of my wits.

Now, I don’t know a lot about life, but it seems like we all have to figure out what to do with Jesus. (Assuming you’re convinced that historically, He did actually exist.) Like, we can’t just say that Jesus was a nice guy and a good teacher. We either have to believe that He was who He said He was, or He was a crazy man. Because no one can make the claims He did, and not be crazy. Here’s what C.S. Lewis says about that:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – Mere Christianity

So, I don’t know why exactly, but I just wanted to tell you how I really feel about Jesus. He’s really, really important to me. Like, Jesus is my life. That’s why I’m so weird.  I love Him. And everyday, I tell you what, every single day, in some way, sometimes in a hundred ways, I feel His love for me. You know how when someone you love touches your cheek and looks deep in your eyes and just pays really close attention to you? That’s how I feel Jesus–He’s close like that.

And since I love Him and feel His love, of course, I want this whole wide world to feel it too. And to know Him. Like, really know Him. Who He actually is. Now, I know Christians do a lot of strange things, often dumb and stupid things that I’m ashamed of. But, true Jesus followers ought to be these love-lavishers simply because they feel so very loved. That’s what Jesus aims to make of us.

And I don’t know, but I wonder if we did love like that–how Jesus tells us to– if more people would grow fond of Christ. Because who doesn’t want to be close to Love Himself? I know I sure do. So, I chase after Him. And the funny thing is, I find that all along, there He is chasing after me.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where else would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

…”I have come that they might have life. And have it to the full!” (from John 10:10)

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