In our day of 140 character tweets and eye-catching promos, we are accustomed the seeing just about everything through the lenses of reductionism. “Reduce what you want me to know to the least possible amount of information so that I will be able to quickly assimilate, assess, and (of course) accept or reject it.”
Even in Christian circles, it has become tolerable and sometimes admirable to reduce the Gospel itself to some minimalistic form. Just ask several Christians to describe who Jesus is according to the Bible, and you are likely to hear what I mean. “Jesus is the savior of sinners;” “Jesus is the lover of the outcast;” “Jesus is the Son of God;” and one of my personal favorites, “Jesus is my homeboy.”
Christianity centers upon Jesus Christ (just think of the first five letters of “Christianity“), so it is critical that the Christian think deeply and thoroughly about Jesus. Who is He? What did He do? What does He still do? What has He promised He will do in the future?
There are many dangers of thinking too little of Jesus, but consider the following:
If we think only on the babe in a manger, then we forget that God the Son was with the Father before the world began. We forget that the Son is the One through whom all things were created and the One in whom all things exist.
If we focus too much on Jesus’ obscure childhood, then we venture into pure speculation, and tread on ground that God did not provide for any sturdy follower.
If we see Jesus only as the tender friend to sinners, then we may be surprised to catch a glimpse of Him beating and throwing out the money changers.
If we attune our ears to Jesus’ words of love and peace, such that we cannot hear the fullness of their meaning, then we may forget that God disciplines those He loves.
If we affix our eyes upon the suffering Savior, hanging upon that Roman cross, we may be tempted to think that He has lost His power to rule the world.
If we celebrate only that Jesus arose from the dead, then we may lose sight of His miraculous ascension and think little of His intercession on our behalf this day.
If we idly await the day when Christ returns, and think only of Him as a distant King, then we may forget that He is right with us through the good times and bad in this life.
If we only refer to Jesus as someone we invited into our lives at some point in the past, then we may be surprised to learn that He is our Lord, King, Master, and Savior at this very moment.
We may see, then, that knowing Christ is much more encompassing than most of us might imagine. Cover to cover, the Bible speaks of the person and work of Christ. We ought to love and know Jesus as fully as we are capable; for our joy is made complete in the knowledge of Him.