What is truth? Have you taken a moment recently to think about this question? You have beliefs, beliefs that guide your decisions, and even how you react to situations in your life. But are these ideas true? If we’re honest with ourselves, every one of us has an imperfect worldview in some way. We use our experiences, our minds, and God’s Word to guide us, but only One man who has walked the earth had a perfect understanding of truth: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Who Do You Say that I Am?
Many people would say that Jesus was an admirable example, or even a great prophet. Many people would say that we would do well to become more like Him, and adopt His philosophy. But few people actually pursue this in their daily lives. Worse still, many people adopt ideas and philosophies that run in stark contradiction to what Christ taught and stood for. Instead of reading the Word to learn about what Jesus was really like, many people invent a picture of Christ in their minds that bears little resemblance to ministry on this earth.
You’ve certainly heard of Gentle Jesus, and it is true that He had and has the attribute of gentleness. Jesus was called the friend of sinners precisely because he sought out prostitutes, thieves, and adulterers to save them from their sin. He is gentle with us when we stumble and fall on the road of life—even when we rebel against Him, He often corrects us like a gentle and loving Father. If we will listen to and follow His gentle correction, He often withholds the greater pain and punishment that we truly deserve.
Gentle, But Not Gentle Only
All this being said, Jesus was also a fierce man. When the situation warranted it, Jesus spoke with boldness and authority, condemning men for their rebellion and the hardness of their hearts. If we think of Jesus only as a meek lamb and never as a righteous judge, we see him incorrectly.
A striking example of Christ’s anger at those who disregard the Father’s commandments is found in Matthew 21:
12And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”
Can you imagine one man entering a mall and drivng our droves of merchants by himself? Imagine the tenacity and fiercness that must have been in our Savior’s eyes. Now think of your reactions to sin and the profaning of God’s Name. Do you react as the Lord did?
Another example is found in Matthew 23:
13″But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14[“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation].
15″Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
25″Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26″You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.
Here, we see Christ calling out the men who would dare to speak on God’s behalf, perverting His Laws and His character in order to obtain personal benefit. Jesus called down woes to these false teachers, directing others to avoid their influence and instead follow the true God and His Son Jesus Christ.
Will You Follow Him?
It can be difficult to live like Christ, particularly in a world that rejects our Lord for who He truly is. We know that Jesus taught that He was the way, the truth, and the life and that none may come to the Father but through Him. Yet our world rejects this reality, and accuses those of us who follow Christ completely as being radical and narrow-minded. Instead of bending to the influence of our culture, let’s really take the time to see our Lord for who He is and not shy away from following Him and letting Him make us more like Himself. If we will choose today to care more about what Christ thinks of us than what the world thinks of us, we will find Him ready and able to meet our every need—for this day and all the millennia to come!