In this second session, we grasp in more detail the story of the Real Jesus as the center of God’s purpose and plan to save the world.
There are many ways that the world and often people who claim to follow Jesus has warped Him into something he is not, creating “poser Jesus’s” that have often been passed off as counterfeits in church or culture. Here are a few examples of fake Jesus’s:
“DO-THE-LIST Jesus.”: You must fulfill the moralistic to-do list perfectly every day, or at least better than most people. When you don’t do it RIGHT, you meet the “finger-pointing Jesus.”
“Finger-Pointing Jesus”: GOTCHA! Always looking to call you out. He’s constantly disappointed in you and your “effort.” He’s always assuming the worst when it comes to you.
"Santa Claus Jesus": Just tell him what you want…tell Him how good you are…and you get RICH!
"Pacifier Jesus": Jesus soothes all of your pain and keeps you quiet and complicit. He doesn't really care about why you're crying, just that you've stopped.
"There’s the “Angry Coach Jesus”: You get your act together NOW and prove you care enough or else you’re gonna be off the team!
"Stinky Hippy Jesus (Bob Marley)": Don’t worry about a thing…cause every little thing’s gonna be alright. He doesn’t really care about how you live life—so long as you are enjoying the ride. If it feels good, do it…He doesn’t care.
"Sincerity Jesus": This Jesus doesn’t care about what the Bible says—only in your sincerity. If you are genuine and authentic, you can be disobedient and wrong, your feelings are the authority in your life (NOT what God says)
"Vegas Jesus": What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t concern him, You’ll be fine so long as you give money to charities and churches, know where your Bible is, pray before most meals, and show up to a church service once a month. What goes on behind his back, stays behind his back.
“NO-Jesus”: No fun. No music. No drinks. No laughing. No smoking. No parties. No dancing. No throttle. No thrill. No tattoos. And if you are wondering about ______ – the answer is probably NO!
There are many more false and phony Jesus’s.
But the Real Jesus is far better.
We see that the Real Jesus is the promised Savior from even the beginning pages of the Bible, embodying the fullness of the glory of God in human form. He became the representative of all mankind by His life, substituted Himself for us in His death, and delivers His life to us by His resurrection.
The Real Jesus overturns all other verdicts in our lives, delivers grace and not guilt, and then speaks a new narrative over our lives that combats all of the other “poser Jesus’s” that seek to distort and distract from who He really is.
We see the fullness of who God is in the Person and work of Jesus and His radical message of hope that truly changes us from the inside out.
Here are some additional resources to consider the real Jesus:
True and Better: The Bible Points to Jesus by Dan Stevers
Meeting the Real Jesus by Tim Keller
The Supremacy of Christ by Ajith Fernando
Jesus and the Identity of God by N.T. Wright
To explore the story throughout the Scriptures, read:
John 1 to see how the promised Jesus comes into the world and connects with God from the very beginning.
Luke 1-2 to explore the beginning life of Jesus, His family, and how He was truly human as well as truly God.
1 Peter 2:24 to see how Jesus is our substitute.
Romans 6:9-11 to explore how Jesus’ death gives us victory over brokenness and especially death.
2 Corinthians 5:21 to see how Jesus gives us His perfect record.
Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 1:1-3 to see how Jesus is continuing to work for us even now.