Pastor’s Pen

Pastor’s Pen

Who is Jesus? It’s not as easy to answer as you might think. How would you describe Him? How would you explain Him? He’s asking you today, “Who do you say I am?” (Mt. 16:15). The reality is, Jesus is so much more than we realize.

The WWJD movement led people to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” Where it fell short is that it’s easy to convince ourselves that Jesus would do whatever we wanted to do in the first place. But the more I get to know Jesus, the more I see how differently He thinks than we do. For Jesus, character is more important than comfort. For Jesus, God’s Kingdom is more important than this temporary world system.

In Isaiah 53, we find a powerful description of Jesus—a prophetic word written hundreds of years before He was born. Verses 2-3 tell us that Jesus wouldn’t be particularly handsome or powerful looking. In fact, He was “like one from whom people hide their faces.”

Isn’t that strange? Jesus’ unattractive outward appearance was intentional. Most of us would expect God’s Son to look like a royal prince or a hero from a movie—someone stately we would admire. We like the idea of following “Popular Jesus.” We want Jesus to wear cool clothes, say inspiring things, and hang out with the right people.

But the real Jesus defies all expectations. He’s counter cultural. He says hard things, knowing that some people will get offended and walk away from Him. He performs signs and miracles, but not always on demand—leaving people frustrated.

We see this in John 6, when Jesus fed 5,000 men, plus women and children, from 5 small loaves of bread and 2 small fish. The crowd was amazed and hung on every word He said. But then He slipped away. The crowd went looking for Him, finally finding Him on the other side of the lake. They hoped He would give them more food, because of course, they were hungry again.

Jesus told them, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27a). They didn’t get it. They asked again for bread, and Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe” (John 6:35-36).

They saw Jesus face-to-face, they saw this amazing miracle, and still, they didn’t believe. They just wanted another free meal. Jesus told them to stop looking to temporary things to meet your needs! Think about eternity. Think about what’s really important.

Then Jesus got even more radical. Without much explanation, He told them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:53-54).

After this, many people turned away from Him. What’s interesting is Jesus wasn’t trying to convince them to stay. The giveaways were over. The inspiring words were done. No more entertainment. It was time for them to decide whether to follow Him or not. If they chose to be offended by His strange statement, that just revealed the true state of their heart. But if they chose to consider what He was really saying—that real, lasting life doesn’t come from bread but only from Him—they would follow Him and He would satisfy the longing in their hearts.

What are you looking to for life? Temporary things? Money? Career? Health? Education? Family? Relationships? Possessions? Pleasures? Or Jesus?

Are you willing to follow Him, even when it’s not exciting, it’s not entertaining, and things get hard? Even when your health fails? Or people let you down? Or everyone else walks away from Him?

Time is running out. Jesus is coming soon! And He’s testing to see if we really love Him, or we just love the stuff He gives us and does for us. He reminds us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).