I believe that it is no secret that we live in a time when people love the choices that are available to them. A person does not have to just take what is given to them in many situations, but rather they can make a choice that appeals to them personally.
While I like choices when it comes to lunch selections, clothes, and many other things, when it comes to the object of my worship, there cannot be a smorgasbord. I cannot give my attention and adoration to more than one being.
When it comes to the topic of Jesus, one might think that the issue is plain. I mean, how can a person be so drastically different? If a person were very different around various people or groups, then they would not be worth following. There is just something special about integrity.
The sad part is that people see Jesus in so many different ways. Some see Jesus as their “homeboy” – he is one that is fun to hang around and always has your back. Some see Jesus the Genie – he’s around to grant our wishes and get us out of trouble. Some see Jesus the Grandpa – he’s loving and has some old ways of thinking, but he’ll let you by with a lot more than your parents. These are just a couple of the many ways in which people see Jesus. None of these accurately describes the Son of God though.
I wonder how many people are following a ‘Jesus’, but it is not the Jesus of the Bible. This isn’t the first time it has happened. Exodus 32 shows a time when people were worshipping what they thought was the Lord, but they were actually worshipping their hand-made gods.
One can see that the people asked Aaron, Moses’ brother, to make “gods” for them (Exodus 32:1). Aaron asks for their gold and makes a calf idol for the people to worship (Exodus 32:2-4). It is interesting that the word ‘gods’ so far is the Hebrew word (elohim) for either plural gods or the name of the Lord God. One doesn’t quite know exactly who they are talking about.
Yet in verse 5 we see Aaron clearing it up… they see this golden calf as the one true God that has led them so far. He says, “There will be a festival to the LORD (yhwh – the covenant name of the Lord) tomorrow” (emphasis mine). They had clearly misunderstood the correct identity of who God was and were following that wrong perception towards destruction.
How many are following a ‘Jesus’ that is not from the Bible? Is the ‘Jesus’ that we are submitting our lives to the one that the Scriptures truly reveal, or is it one that we have created so that we can manage? That didn’t work out well for the Israelites in Exodus 32, and it won’t work well for us either. Pursue the Jesus that is shown to us in the entire Bible, not just in particular verses. Each chapter and verse of each of the 66 books/letters that make up the Bible work to reveal who Jesus truly is… the one that we should follow and submit our lives to.