Stereotyping Jesus


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Peter 1-3; John 1

Today’s Key Passage – John 1:43-51

 

For most of the Jews in Jesus’ day, Nazareth was a very unpopular place because a Roman army garrison was stationed there.  Some have also speculated that the people of Nazareth may have had a bad reputation of loose morals and lax religion at the time.  Because of these stereotypes, Nathanael was surprised to hear that the Messiah was from Nazareth.  Philip’s reply to Nathanael was simply, “Come and see”. (1:46)  Fortunately for Nathanael, he took Philip’s advice and went to see for himself who Jesus was.  What he found changed his life forever, as he became a disciple and spent his life following Jesus Christ.  If he had not overcome his initial prejudice, he would never have met Jesus and would have missed this life-changing experience.

There are countless stereotypes that people have about Jesus, Christianity, the Bible, and the Church.  Some people claim that Jesus was a “good man” or a “great teacher” but say that He was not God.  Other people think Jesus just wants to take away all of our fun and make us follow a bunch of rules.  Some think that people who are “born again” are religious zealots who use Christianity as a “crutch”, and still others think that the Church is only after their money.  Stereotypes and prejudices against the message of Jesus Christ abound everywhere in this world.  Sadly, many people hold onto these stereotypes their entire lives and never truly come to know the joy and the peace that comes with knowing Jesus.  As followers of Christ, our calling is to help them find Him.  Just as Philip told Nathanael to “Come and see”, we should also be inviting people to come and see who Jesus really is.

When Nathanael met Jesus, he was convinced that He was the Messiah because Jesus knew him and told him that He had seen him under the fig tree before Philip even called him.  To paraphrase Jesus using my own words, his response to Nathanael was basically – “if you think that was good, just wait until you see what else I have in store for you”.  During Jesus’ life on earth, He performed many miracles that ultimately convinced many people that He truly was the Son of God.  While Jesus is not still walking the earth changing water into wine, He is still performing miracles in the hearts and lives of believers today.  These miracles can easily be seen by anyone truly looking to investigate Jesus for themselves with an open heart.  Amid the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season, do not let people’s stereotypes or prejudices about Jesus, Christianity, the Bible, or the Church cause them to miss Jesus.  Help them see for themselves the miraculous things He does for us.  Invite someone new to church.  Talk to others about Jesus Christ.  Allow people to see the miracles He has performed in your life by being a good witness for Him.  Then watch as they find out who He truly is and start to follow Him.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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Posted on December 17, 2014, in 04 - John and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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