My favorite Jesus
Dr. Rikki Permenter
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
“Well, my favorite is the Christmas Jesus.” As I sit in a semi local coffee shop the other day I overheard a few kids talking about Jesus. Not in an overly spiritual way but more in a if-Jesus-was-a-superhero-way. They were obviously homeschooled, as they were doing school work in a coffee place mid-day on a school day, and obviously from a Christian family.
Everyone has different versions of themselves. There is the “adult” version that gets things done, the “fun” version that is spontaneous and lives in the present, the “mean” one (or “mean mommy” as my kid says) that enforces the rules and doesn’t condone candy for breakfast. While we have all these versions of ourselves, we are just one person. Sometimes we have to utilize our different “selves” to get things done during the day but we are simply just one “us”.
In the same way, you can’t pick and choose your favorite Jesus, or God for that matter. As the little kids debated between the “Christmas Jesus” and the “Flipping over tables Jesus” they were failing to see he is just one person. The same Jesus who came as a baby all tender and mild is the same Jesus who flipped over tables in righteous anger on people selling in temple. You have to look at the whole Jesus from Scripture. If you only like the “fun” Jesus or the “nice” Jesus you’ve made up a God in your mind. He isn’t real and that image you’ve made is a form of idolatry. Just like we’re only one person - all the “Jesus” personalities found in biblical stories make one person and that person is one with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Take some time to ask yourself a few questions. Which Jesus are you worshiping today? Do you have a favorite you like to imagine? Do you prefer to ignore parts of Jesus’ personality that don’t seem nice or fun? Have you created an idol in your mind that isn’t the biblical Jesus at all?
This article can be found in print in the monthly Baptist Association of Southeast Louisiana newsletter.