Friday, February 7, 2014

Cliché Jesus

There was an interesting image that came to mind earlier at work. It was like a very short scene played out in front of me, and it seems that it could make others think about their own personal idea of Christ.

There were two men before me, and there was a choice that had to be made; follow one, or follow the other.
The first one was the idea i all-too-often have of Christ: handsome face, chiseled jaw, groomed facial hair, you name it. His hair was immaculate, long and tangle-free, wavy and smooth. He was quite muscular, wearing a royal purple sash, a brilliant crown on his head, and he had thousands of followers in nice clothes, preachers and well-to-do people all rather urbanely dressed, and he told me that he was Christ. From his voice and manner, it seemed wasn't a decision for me to make, he simply was the Messiah, and he said it with authority.
The second man was really ragged looking. He was skinny, like a homeless man. His hands were cut up, scabbed, scarred, blistered and calloused, with split fingernails to top them off. His face was weak and feeble, covered mostly by a muddy and matted beard, His face had all manner of sun-damage and weariness. His clothes were torn and stained like a mechanic's favorite t-shirt, His hair was shaggy, and He somewhat ugly in the way that you'd walk around this person while purposefully avoiding eye-contact. His followers were few, but looked much like Him. He asked me who i believed He was.

I've actually thought of this quite a bit and always figured Jesus was of the more lowly type, but until this came to mind, it never struck me just how lowly.
He was a carpenter, which results in lots of cuts and scrapes, many callouses, splinters, and the like. Foxes (these are wild scavengers, mind you), have holes, but the King has no place for His head; He was homeless. When the disciples asked what there was for Him to eat, He said doing the will of His Father was His food. He walked from town to town, not always on a donkey. He was without money, and so most likely without clean water the majority of the time.
We glamorize Jesus, even when we attempt to portray Him as a "nobody" from that time--clean (or at least without tear) clothes, clean face, soft beard, flowing hair. These things were for those in the houses of royalty of that era, not workers, carpenters, wanderers.

The thing that hit me most about that little image was that the one stated He was Christ, the other asked who I said He was.
After all, it doesn't matter to the non-believer whether or not Jesus was the Christ; it matters to those who call Him the Son of God. It matters who I say He is. It matters who you say He is. He could walk around proclaiming to be the Christ all day long, and yet it wouldn't matter if nobody else said He was the Christ.
In the same way, we can proclaim to be Christians day in and day out, bumper stickers plastered on our cars, t-shirts with "edgy" Christian slogans or Bible verse, cross and fish jewelry adorning our necks and fingers, and it won't matter. It won't matter one bit.
If someone can't look at our lives and tell who we follow, are we actually following Him? Does His light really shine from us, or are we just perpetuating the Christianity Machine?

Here's a question i am asking, paraphrasing a question Christ presented His disciples, and i implore each and every one of you to ask it to a close friend, preferably a non-believing one; aside from my shouting, aside from my claims, aside from my apparel, who do you say that i follow?

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