“Have nothing to do with foolish controversies;
you know that they breed quarrels.”
2 Timothy 2:23
I don’t think the tearing down of statues is going away any time soon. The latest in the crosshairs is with images of Jesus. The controversy? That most familiar objects depict Jesus as white. In one sense, I get that. No, I don’t mean we should take the law into our own hands and topple statues, mob-style. I mean that Jesus was a middle eastern Jew. He wasn’t Nordic.
I kinda do have a problem with images of Jesus. We are taught in Exodus 20:4-5 that we are not to make what some call “graven” images of God. We can get caught up in the details about what constitutes “graven”, but the real problem is that people end up worshipping images instead of God. That’s a HUGE no-no.
Are statues necessarily graven images? How about paintings? A cross?
To me, this whole topic is a slow-speed softball pitch right over the plate, just begging to be whacked over the fence!
Here’s the point. What Jesus looked like doesn’t really matter. The only description we have really isn’t one (Isaiah 53:2). We do know that he is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). Hebrews says, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” (Hebrews 1:3). Yet, if what Isaiah says is true, there was nothing special about his looks. Does that mean there is nothing special about the radiance of the glory of God? Hardly! It means what he looks like doesn’t matter.
Furthermore, God is the one who wrote the book on redemption. He didn’t have to pick the Jews as his chosen nation. He could have picked ANY nation. The fact is the Jews were just as corrupt as anyone else. They always have been and always will be. “None is righteous, no, not one; non one understands; no one seeks for God.” (Romans 3:11) Truly, skin color or nationality are no basis to judge superiority. The same is true for a person’s sex. Even so, God did make the nations, colors, and sexes, so there is reason to consider this differentiation as God intended a good thing. It’s just not a reason for us to create hierarchy.
There is one big distinguishing feature among mankind, however, that Jesus makes a huge issue out of – whether or not you are his disciple. Lots of people are arguing about what “their” Jesus looks like, but most are sorely mistaken about whether Jesus considers them to be his.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Matthew 25:31-32 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
Most people you talk to are goats. Most are not born again. Most aren’t striving for that narrow gate. Yet lots of people are arguing about what color our pictures of Jesus should be!
Do you see what I mean? This ball is teed up perfectly for you go share the gospel. Now is the time, folks.
Father, encourage your church. Amen!
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers