The Unsettling Jesus

Christians and non-Christians alike may envision Jesus as a social reformer, a passive resistor, or a gentle teacher. In a discussion about the biblical Jesus, there may well be room for these concepts, but this collection is far less than a complete view of the Jesus of the Bible.

The Jesus of the Bible is also quite biting in some of His remarks, calling some people “snakes” and others “sons of the devil” (Matt. 12:34; Jn. 8:44). The biblical Jesus is unbending in His judgments against sin (Jn. 4:17) and false worship (Jn. 4:22). The real Jesus is also expressively angry, literally threatening physical harm to those He opposed in the temple (Jn. 2:15-16).

The Jesus of the Bible (the real Jesus) is perfectly sinless and morally upright. He is also unflinchingly authoritative, and this is unsettling to our own sinful comforts. Jesus forces us to lose everything to gain Him – a winning exchange to be sure, but a painful one for those of us who are comfortable where we are.

“God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

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