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THE IMAGE OF JESUS TODAY

By March 4, 2014 3 Comments

“Ecce Homo” (“Behold the Man”) was a prized Spanish fresco — for over a century – the pride of the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, near Zaragoza.

The condition of the painting was gradually deteriorating.

Can The Man Be Saved?

A concerned, eighty year-old congregant was distraught over its worsening condition. She decided to take matters into her own hands and attempted to restore the painting.

What was left looks like a child’s finger painting.

Art historians are now discussing if the painting can be saved.

The Image of Jesus

The story reminds me of well intentioned academics who alter the image of Jesus in an attempt to fit a value system they feel will help people see Jesus clearer. They felt “the image of Jesus” – our theological understanding of Jesus –  was deteriorating over time.

The Jesus Seminar is one such group. Founded in 1985, it’s comprised of approximately one hundred and fifty scholars and laymen.

Who is Jesus

The Jesus Seminar’s reconstruction of the historical Jesus portrays him as an itinerant Hellenistic Jewish sage and faith healer. According to the Seminar, Jesus was a mortal man born of two human parents, who did not perform miracles nor die as a substitute for sinners nor rise bodily from the dead.

The resultant “Jesus” of the Seminar looks like nothing more than “a child’s finger painting.”

Jesus is stripped of His divinity and role as Emmanuel, God with us.

The fallacy of the Jesus Seminar is to assume that Jesus is merely an historical figure who can be studied and categorized. Jesus Gospels

6 Ways The Image of Jesus Can be Restored

1. Read the New Testament for yourself. Get a readable version of the New Testament. “The Message” is a translation in modern English and reads like a novel. The New International Version(NIV) is a sound translation that is also in modern English.

2. Read one of the Gospels at a time. Start with the Gospel of Mark. Mark’s account is the shortest gospel having only sixteen chapters. You can read through the whole book in just over an hour.

Read the whole Gospel in one sitting. Why?  Because from conception to the resurrection you get an comprehensive picture of Jesus.Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri c. 1880

3. Read Matthew, Luke and John together. Read all three gospels over three days. You will discover your reading seems repetitious, as some stories are contained in three or four of the Gospels. Why is that? Matthew and John write as men who lived with Jesus. Mark records and reflects the experience and teachings of the disciple Peter. Luke, who never met Jesus, records the teachings and experiences of the apostle Paul.

4. Record your thoughts about Jesus. What do you learn about Him as you read? Record any differences you see from one Gospel to another. The four gospels are four witnesses, each seeing Jesus through their personal experience and perspective.

5. As you read, take what you read at face value. Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to make Jesus real to you.

6. The New Testament has an agenda: to present the reality of Jesus – Savior, Lord, Healer and King. “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Song of God and that by believing you will have life through his name.”  John 20:31

APPLICATION: What is one characteristic of Jesus that stands out most you you? Please leave a comment below.


I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 25 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 36 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Kathy says:

    When I read this, what came to mind was Ephesians 4:24 where Paul talks of putting on the “new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” along with a quote from C.S. Lewis: “Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.” As I gaze at the image of Jesus that has been contorted and distorted by a very well-intentioned woman, I think how in my own Christian walk, when I should be becoming more and more like a “little Christ”, his image is distorted in me despite my good intentions. I hope as I go forward his image in me becomes clearer and clearer.

  • Janie mendiola says:

    Dear bro. Bob I have not read the whole bible. Cuss I don’t know where 2 start but thank you 4 the scriptures Matthew , luke, John which I will read. Bro. I’m not yet baptized that’s what I want. I pray I will get there. God bless you.

  • Carole Schlachta says:

    I love the book of John. I often read it and I sense the Holy Spirit showing me no matter, what lies ahead, Jesus loves me more than Anyone could love me. In His word, His parables, his teaching, His life is unforgettable. I don’t think there is ever a day that goes by the He shoes me His love.
    Thank you, Lord for Your word and Your love.

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