“For He was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God.”
2 Corinthians 13:4a
When I was in high school I wanted as little as possible to do with Jesus. Although, if I am honest, there was always a struggle and pulling back to Him. But I would wrestle and strive to be as far from Him as I possibly could. As if I could run from Him who is everywhere.
One of the reasons, possibly the largest reason, that I felt this way was that I saw Jesus wrongly. I had been sold a Jesus who was simply concerned about making sure I kept all the rules, and in so doing would make sure that I had no fun. The Jesus that so many tried to tell me of was white washed and frail.
When I was in my late teens Christ brought me back to Himself and I began to read through the Gospel of John. Within the pages of this gospel account I, for the first time, truly fell in love with the Jesus that I saw in the pages of Scripture. He was tender, but also tough. He was full of grace but did not keep silent when the truth was at stake. He wasn’t begging people to come to Him like most pastors do today. He didn’t care what anyone thought of Him, for He knew what His Father tough of Him.
But as amazing as I saw Him, this is not how He is any longer. He is not any less than this. But to only see Him in this way is to think less of Him.
Many in the Church today have a view of Jesus that that only takes into consideration a small portion of His life. It would be as if someone would only view people through the lense of a first impression.
We often forget that Christ is no longer bound to a single place and time. He no longer has His full divinity set aside. Though He came to die in weakness for our sins, He has risen and reigns in power for our protection.
I think that more than anything else this belief shapes our lives in the areas of prayer and mission. We have compartmentalized Jesus to an area that He feels controlable and safe. For when He is only a middle aged, Jewish, man who was born to a poor teenage mother and worked a blue collar job till He was 30, it’s easy to write Him off. And when we only see Him this way it’s also easy to forget that He is King now.
Right now, as I write this and as you read it, Jesus is clothed in a glory and power that we could not even begin to fathom. The same Jesus who came in weakness now tells stars where to hang in the sky and waves where to stop on the shore. He tells lightning where to strike, rain where to fall, planets where to spin, and mountains how tall to grow.
When end we forget this, when we forget the power of Christ, we allow the enemy to steal courage to pray for, and about, things that only a strong Jesus can do. When we forget that Christ can do all we make our prayers small, as if the big ones might be too much for Him. We begin to treat Him like one of us, always giving Him an out...Just in case our small prayers are too big for Him.
We also fall into the temptation to shape mission in the defensive when we view Christ as if He wasn’t all powerful. We are living in a world where the cultural christianity is taking its dying breath (Thank God). As a result of this many in our family have become fearful of culture. But in doing this we are telling the world that we functually believe that culture is stronger than King Jesus. We live as if when culture meets the all-powerful God of the Bible culture will win. We live as if Jesus words that He overcame the world were nothing more than wishful thinking.
So, I invite you to once again, or possibly for the first time, see Jesus as He is now. See Him in glory, see Him in power. Know that He alone controls anything, and all-things. Take the time to read through Revelation, not as a code to decipher, but as the story of Jesus being stronger. Stronger than the sins of His people. Stronger than the struggles of His people. Stronger than the world. Stronger than all those who dare fight against Him.
See Him as strong enough to pray to. See Him as stronger than the world. See His as stronger than your sin. See Him as stronger than our enemy. See His as He is…