Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…
How frequently do you hear this word each day? Each week?
A few dozen times?
What image does it conjure up?
Maybe a white man with light brown hair gazing up and to the left…
Maybe an anthropologist’s recreation of an early first century native of Palestine…
MAYBE the bronze-skinned, wooly white-haired man with glowing eyes from Revelation Chapter 1 *cough *cough and *cough again.
I know for me, it’s a dark-skinned man with a Jheri curl in white robes with his hand outstretched, the African American cover for a book called Steps to Christ. (Completely unrelated, but you should check that book out, in whatever cover it is in). But if I’m truly honest, most of the time when I say “Jesus” I’m not thinking about this image, not really. Or any image for that matter.
I’m thinking about an idea.
This Jesus idea is not attached to just an image, or some regular proclamations of ‘Jesus was Black’ from my youth. It is not just attached to songs like “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” or “Yes, Jesus loves me”. The Jesus idea is attached to all the memories that come with those songs, those places, those people.
In a very real way, the word ‘Jesus’ is attached to everything about my religious experience growing up. When someone says ‘Jesus loves you.’ I don’t think about a LITERAL Jesus LITERALLY loving me,
It’s strange, if not embarrassing, to think about, but the word “Jesus” rarely has anything to do with the person of Jesus (or Yeshua if you prefer the Hebrew).
This means that while the word Jesus or Christ may be used often, rarely is the actual person attached. For example, Christians say ‘I believe in Jesus’ often, but it would be a misunderstanding to interpret that as them meaning to say they believe in turning the other cheek, loving their enemies, rejoicing when they are mistreated, etc. As a result, what people mean when they say ‘Jesus’ varies, but is usually expressed as just a good idea instead of an actual person you should follow.
So to specify, when I say Jesus here, I’m am referring to the Man who walked the earth thousands of years ago….the Man who died a horrendous, unspeakable death at the hands of those He loved so dearly… and the Man who rose three days later as a conqueror. This same man, this same Jesus, sent us the Holy Spirit, and intercedes on our behalf, at all times.
With that being said, the question that follows is simple:
This Jesus guy…is He the most important part of your life or nah?
If so, then He has to be more than an idea. He has to be more than a phrase, or even an exclamation of praise. He needs to be the motor that powers your decisions and choices.
He wants to be a part of your life. Very much so. And you have ALL the power in that relationship. You get to decide how much of your life you want him to be involved in, to invite him into. And you get to make that decision every second of every day. Including right now.
What is Jesus to you?