Is Jesus Who You Think He Is?
I began my journey discovering the real Jesus in 2004. I had been a full-time youth worker for 5 years, leading, teaching, and discipling students, when I found my view of Jesus being challenged. In college, Jesus was homework. In my profession, Jesus was my job. At home, Jesus was sometimes in my devotions (when I did them).
In 2004, I spent some time with a group of youth workers and Rick Lawrence, author of The Jesus-Centered Life. This was the first time I remember someone asking the question, “Who do you say Jesus is?” I thought, “Jesus is God, the Son of God. Jesus is perfect. Jesus is super perfect! Right? Is that the right answer?” Rick went on to tell a story of a conversation he had with a student who answered the question this way (I am paraphrasing):
Student: “Jesus is nice.”
Rick: “What about when Jesus flipped over the tables in the temple?”
Student: “I don’t know, but it must have been nice because Jesus is nice.”
Rick: (Insert favorite “shocked look” emoji.)
What’s wrong with saying Jesus is nice? Jesus was nice right?
I realized that Jesus was not who I thought he was…he was so much more.
This is not a shot at my Bible college.
It is not a shot at my mentors.
I am not taking a shot at any of my pastors.
This is a shot at me.
I was doing ministry more than I was being a follower of Jesus. At the time, my relationship with Jesus was more of a project than a process (continually getting to know him in a relationship).
My undeveloped faith was stunted by thinking I had hit the ceiling in knowing Jesus. I had my degree; I knew I was not done growing, but I was nurturing my skills instead of maturing my faith.
I don’t want to beat myself up too badly. My view of Jesus was not heretical…it just wasn’t as deep as it could’ve been, or should’ve been. I needed Jesus roots to grow deeper and be at the center of everything I did and everything I am. I love the subtitle to The Jesus-Centered Life: “The life you didn’t think was possible, with the Jesus you never knew.”
The Jesus-Centered Life is challenging and sharpening. Rick’s writing is refreshing and will cause you to slow down and reflect more intimately on who you say Jesus is, who Jesus is, and how you fit in who Jesus says you are.
Is Jesus who you think he is…or is he so much more?
– Brandon / @iambrandonearly
P.S.- Don’t forget to check out the youth version of the book, The Jesus-Centered Life: 40 Devotions for Teenagers.