The Real Jesus

For the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring various incarnations of Jesus I see traipsing about our culture.  And several people have asked, with all these Jesus filling our churches, if I think the real Jesus is even accessible.  The short answer is “Yes”.  The challenge is the reality of the plurality of Jesuses available to us.  Even if we restrict ourselves only to the Jesuses we find within the Church, so many assail us it’s easy to lose hope that the Jesus who walked among us, healed and redeemed us is truly available to us in a meaningful way.

But I have begun to wonder if it’s not precisely in the mess that we experience the real Jesus.

I think this is an actual photograph from that experience. True story.What if I assume that my picture of Jesus is incomplete?  And what if I also assume that your picture of Jesus is just as incomplete, but no in quite the same way?  What if I can learn to see Jesus better through my friendship with you?

If that’s true, then authentic Biblical fellowship is vital to a healthy relationship with Jesus.  It would mean that I experience the real, physical presence of Jesus when I am among the Church.  This is what Paul means when he talks about the Church as the Body of Christ.  This is why we have real, physical sacraments like baptism and the Eucharist (Communion meal).

In these practices, we experience the same Jesus as the early church (check out Luke 24:30-31).

And to many of you who read my blog, I want to say thank you.  Because I have met the real Jesus through my friendships with you, through worshiping alongside you and I’m grateful for that.  You’ve taught me to be more graceful, kind and gentle.  I’ve learned joy and peace from you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

What about you?  How have your friendships helped you to see Jesus better?