Summary: Who do you perceive Jesus to be? Every person can develop an accurate perception of Jesus by taking three steps: determining who Jesus really is, discovering why he came, and deciding to put their faith in hi
Welcome to Freshwater. We are one church in multiple locations committed to making healthy disciples and we are glad that you are here on Easter weekend.
I heard a story about this kindergarten teacher who wanted to teach her students about self-esteem. She said to her class, everyone who thinks they are dumb, stand up. She didn’t think anybody would stand up and she would make the point that no one was dumb. After a few seconds Jonny stood up and she said, so Jonny, you really think that you are dumb? Little Jonny said no-maam, I just didn’t want to see you standing there all by yourself.
Think about this question: What is your perception of Jesus? Have you ever had that experience that when you thought you knew somebody then something happens and reveals that you didn’t know them at all? Something surfaces that just rocks your perception of who you thought they were.
One popular example right now might be Miley Cirus. Apparently she is much different in person than the Hanna Montana character she played on the Disney Channel. A lot of young girls who idolized her have had a lot of questions about this one.
Maybe you had a friend who you thought you knew well and then they did something that revealed a completely different person than you thought you knew. When I was growing up I idolized Kevin. He was several years older and I wanted to do everything he did. My perception of him was that he had it all together. He played guitar in a band, he had the cool bike, he even walked cool. Turns out Kevin wasn’t as content with his life as I thought he was. I remember the day when my mom walked into my room and told me that Kevin tried to commit suicide. The news rocked my world because I perceived him to be everything I wanted to be.
Then there are situations where you run into the complete opposite. You might know someone who is completely humble and easy going and only later find out they more influential or popular than you thought.
The truth is there are people who we think we know who turn out to be someone completely different than who we perceived them to be. Sometimes we are pleasantly surprised and other times we are sadly disappointed.
What is your perception of Jesus? Who do you perceive him to be? I believe that every person can develop an accurate perception of Jesus by taking three steps: determining who Jesus really is, discovering why he came, and deciding to put their faith in him.
The first step we need to take to develop an accurate perception of Jesus is to 1. Determine who Jesus really is. When Jesus walked this earth people had different perceptions about who he was. Some people perceived Jesus to be a good person. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record an event in Jesus life when a man approached him asking “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” This man perceived Jesus to be a good teacher, a wise man who could offer decent counsel.
Others perceived Jesus to be a good person because he healed the sick and the lame. The scriptures give multiple examples of Jesus giving sight to the blind, legs to the lame, and curing leprosy.
Today many people still think Jesus was a good man and that’s it. They think he lived a god life and died a good man.
Others perceived Jesus to be a bad person. The Pharisees certainly thought Jesus was a bad person. On one occasion the Pharisees were so offended that Jesus healed a man with a deformed arm on the Sabbath that they actually plotted to kill him.
“14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.” Matthew 12:9-13
The Pharisees didn’t just dislike Jesus, they hated him. Jesus also claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life. This offended people back then. Jesus said:
“6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7
People who believe that all religions lead to the same god are still offended by this claim and think Jesus is a bad person for making this claim. They say: “isn’t that a little arrogant, to claim to be god?” If you are not god then it’s very arrogant. But since Jesus is God, then it’s not arrogant, it’s accurate.
Just like all roads don’t lead to Rome, all planes don’t land in Paris, and all trains don’t lead to Texas, all religions don’t lead to the same God.