Will the Real Jesus please stand up! It really does come down to the question that Jesus asked his disciples “Who do you say I am”.
That is the question we must ask ourselves as well. How we answer that question reflects if we are following Jesus or if we want Jesus to follow us…answering a prayer now and then, rescuing us from a catastrophe here and there, and helping us achieve the goals we set for ourselves. The actual living, breathing, Jesus of Nazareth doesn’t do any of that. The Original Jesus brings us to the Jesus of the bible (and that is the Old and the New Testament) and exposes what we have made Jesus into.
Ten chapters of Jesus made in our own image.
The Guru Jesus-Reveals all other titles but King and Savior. John Frame says the deity of Christ is a “pervasive doctrine of Scripture and he sums up Scripture’s claims with 3 statements.
Jesus bears divine attributes, holiness, perfect truth, wisdom, almighty power, immutability glory.
Jesus performs divine acts: creation, providence, miracles, forgiveness of sins, final judgment.
Jesus in Scripture is an object of faith and worship.
Red Letter Jesus-Jesus is more than the red letters of your bible. He is the word.
Braveheart Jesus-Jesus is more than the masculine mascot. Sanctification is our reflection of the image of God in our roles of female and male. Living out the fruit of the spirit is not gendered based but based on our gifts and where God places us.
American Jesus-When we make Jesus our political agenda instead of the gospel. We need Jesus. You need a Savior. Jesus is Lord. It is the gospel that changes and transforms communities, hearts, and marriages When it becomes about the rules that only become broken, we have lost the gospel.
Left-Wing Jesus-The social Jesus instead of the Jesus of salvation. We need the gospel and justice. It is by using our gifts to find the best ways to help others from poverty to human trafficking.
Dr. Phil Jesus-Where Jesus becomes our life coach and the gospel becomes about self-improvement instead of redemption and transformation. Where we are called from a life of idolatry instead of called to a life of comfort.
Prosperity Jesus-Pursuit of the now instead of the Kingdom to come. Pursuits that do not last instead of the pursuits that live beyond. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all shall be added. Seeking the Kingdom is God-centered, not self. What do we treasure? Pursuing the Kingdom of God leaves his people joyful instead of greedy.
Post-Church Jesus-Commitment to the church where the gospel is lived out and faith is deepened. Finding strength with other church members. Jesus will reveal the gospel within the body of the church. The church his is bride. Going to church and being a part of a community of church is surrender to the will of God. Going to church is a declaration of war. It declares that Jesus is king.
BFF Jesus-Jesus is not the buddy we have made him up to be. Have we made Jesus to familiar? Are we being fed You Can do it and a marketing pitch or do we see the gospel as more? Are we selling Jesus or proclaiming him as God. A liturgy service brings the gospel to center with a call to worship, a prayer of confession, assurance of pardon, tithes and offerings, and Eucharist. It engages all to the gospel and keeps the gospel center.
Legalist Jesus-Are we committed to Christ and the work of the Gospel or we committed to a holy lifestyle and a set of moral values? Do we live by the list or do we run do the cross? Do we justify ourselves by our own works? Because if we do, it is not the gospel and it will never be enough. Do we find worth in what we do or what Christ did and is doing?
The writing is engaging and winsome.
Be challenged with the original Jesus. He is worthy to pursue and to follow! It is a hard road (biblically speaking it is the narrow road) but it is where real joy is found.
A Special Thank You to Baker Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.