Have you ever been misdefined? Of course, you have. Someone who didn’t like or understand you for whatever the reason, painted an untrue picture of you to others. Since those others don’t know you, they often assume what they heard to be true. The result is others will make judgments about you based on sheer hearsay. Their opinion about you can go on for years in people’s minds with who knows what consequences.
This happened to Jesus in yesterday’s world. It still does in today’s world. People can’t make accurate assessments on Jesus because others have muddied the water on who Jesus is, why He came, how He operates with others and the like. Other opinions have created a false Jesus in many people’s minds and make decisions based upon those inaccuracies.
Please let me share with you a truer big picture of Jesus. I think most pastors and long-term Christians would agree with me. It’s not everything about Jesus that gives you the headlines on God amazing agent of grace and truth. How do I know? I just watch Jesus in the scripture.
Let me start. An amazing fact about the ministry of Jesus is He released people to be who they were created to be. He released their genius. In three and one half-short years, He turned His former ‘island of misfit toys’ disciples into the greatest change agents the world has ever seen. He sent His leaders and followers into the world unencumbered. He set them free from the emotional and physical clutter that had them enslaved them for years. He kept it simple so everyone could understand. He didn’t disqualify them, even when they left Him near the end of His ministry on earth.
He inspired and equipped people to face their ‘unfaceables’ like fear, inadequacy, shame, unworthiness, and their guilt-ridden past. It takes a special person to do that. But Jesus was up to the task. He understands there is a little bit of crazy in us, yet He didn’t judge us for that. Consider his disciples. That is quite a Board of Directors. The hated and despised IRS of that time and the Hell’s Angels of that time were on His team. Haven’t you ever heard of Matthew, the taxman, and John and James, the Sons of Thunder? Sounds like a motorcycle gang to me.
Jesus made people feel welcome. He spread out the welcome mat out for prodigal sons and wounded Samaritans. Jesus went to heaven to prepare a place for people like that. And do you know what that means? There is a place for us, too. Remember the prodigal son? Talk about a welcome! “And when his father saw him, he ran to meet him.” Luke 15:20. In the same way, He shows us His excitement for our homecoming with Him.
Jesus was sent by God to release us from the prisons of past guilt, present boredom, and future anxiety. He wants us firing on all eight cylinders. He knows what will make us effective and happy. He wants to release our genius. He wants us to be free from the ghosts of the past and prepared for the opportunities of the future.
Jesus always has that welcome mat out for anyone who is a Christ follower. He leaves the lights on for us if we want to return home. All He ever tried to do is to put us in a position to succeed. That’s true yesterday, today, and forever.
Jesus came to earth with solutions to problems. He found a need and met it. He came as a ‘Solutionary.’ He brought God’s love into their world. God’s love made flesh changed everything. God’s love is greater and stronger than anything the IRS of that time or the Sons of Thunder could do. God’s love is stronger than anything guilt can do. When formerly lost people stop living the problem and start living the solution, they found their problems started to go away.
The scriptures say it this way. “But, God being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have seen saved) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the age to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7.
You and I are the ‘ages to come’ in the verse. What Jesus did for them He can do for us too! Jesus still goes to prepare a place for us, even if there is a little crazy in us. You know the verse. “For God so loved the world (us) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Jesus lived to be a ‘Solutionary’ and an example for others and many of the problems and bad definitions went away. There’s a lesson here for us when we are misdefined or lied about. Just like Jesus, stop worrying about the problems caused by others and start living the solutions. Be a ‘Solutionary.’ Live an exemplary life, live for others, live above the rumors, and many problems will go away.