Pastor's Corner

1 Jul
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Mid-Week Challenge

What did Jesus look like?  The portrait on your grandmother’s wall? The statue in the Cathedral? Maybe the stained-glass window in the church where you grew up? Perhaps it is the image your Sunday School teacher showed you on those cards when you were a kid?  In 2002 The History Channel ran a special “The Real Face of Jesus.”  Artists used the Shroud of Turin to make a computer generated image.  In 2005 British scientists and Israeli archeologist used forensic anthropology, the kind typically used to solve crimes, to recreate what was described as the most accurate image of Jesus.  Their Jesus has dark short hair, a mustache and beard.

The truth (as you know) is no one knows.  The Bible gives us very little information on what Jesus looks like.  Isaiah 53:2 tells us that, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” The New Testament just tells us that He grew up.  If no one really knows, why do people care so much as to try to find out and why are people like Shaun King demanding certain statues depicting Jesus be taken down?    King is the co-founder of Real Justice PAC and supports the Black Lives Matter movement by sharing his views on injustice through social media. Last week King expressed his views claiming that statues of Jesus Christ are "a form of white supremacy" and should be torn down.

Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee was asked by Fox News to respond.  Here is a portion of what he said: 

“If someone would study Jesus they would find that he was the ultimate person who loved the unlovable, who cared for the ones that no one else cared for. He cared about people who were slaves. He cared about people who were prostitutes. He stepped in the path of those who were ready to stone to death a woman caught in adultery… The farther American society moves away from and denies its religious foundation the more individuals may forget religion is the root of the unique freedoms enjoyed by American citizens… Our fundamental rights don't come from the government because if [the] government gives them, government can take them, they come from God. And we created a government unlike any that's ever been, whose sole purpose was to protect those God-given rights so that we could live in our personal individual liberty…You can take down the images and the art of depicting Jesus, but you can never take the true spirit of Jesus Christ out of the lives of his followers. And historically, under oppression and persecution, the true faith begins to show even more dramatically. It's because in the midst of darkness, light becomes more obvious.”

Exodus 20: 3 – 5 Tells us: You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens above, the earth below, or the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.

What is it about images that cause such an emotion in people?  Images have meaning, or they would not have been created in the first place.  When we create an image we have the human draw to make it in our own image, in other words we depict things in how we like to believe they exist.  God knew the power that images have over people and so He wrote in the commandments that we should never make an image that we devote ourselves to.  Was He including images of Himself in that command? Some theologians believe that this commandment was designed to underscore the difference between God as Creator and God’s creation. People have always tried to give credit to nature in worship when worship belongs only to God.  We have a tendency to gravitate toward any visual image that brings comfort, even if it reminds us of God.  Remember the bronze serpent in Numbers 21? God had Moses make it as a sign of God’s power over nature but by the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18) people were worshiping it.  

Should we even have statues of Jesus or the Saints? Some say no and some say images help us direct our focus on God.  The truth is that anything can become a god if we value it more than we value the actual Word of God.  Don’t be drawn into pointless political arguments and don’t allow Satan to use something to take your complete focus off the Savior Jesus.  

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan


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