Speaking the Truth in Love

What Do You Think?

On one occasion Jesus asked the Pharisees what they thought of the Christ (Matt. 22:42). In context, the question pressed for an acknowledgment of the Lord’s true nature as the Son of God. But like many other things asked by biblical characters, this question has assumed a life of its own. That is, it’s worthy of consideration even when isolated from its immediate biblical context. What do you think of the Christ?

Many people seem to think of Jesus as a Christmas doll. Consider, for instance, the behavior of a typical country singer. In November he is singing rowdy songs about bars, booze, and adultery. But in December this very same person is performing the lilting melody (Away in a Manger.”

When people honor Jesus only at Christmastime, they seem to prefer a Christ who can be controlled. They feel quite comfortable with the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay. Isn’t he adorable? But this is a self-deception. The child born in Bethlehem was born King (Luke 1:31-33). A king rules his subjects.

Others seem to think of Jesus as a Sunday hat. On the first day of the week, they remove him from the shelf in the back of the closet and put him on. As soon as worship ends, the Lord is returned to his obscure place and forgotten for another week.

This is a self-deception too. Jesus will accept nothing less than our all: “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).

What do you think of the Christ?

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