Something has been bothering me since Sunday.
We sang a song in worship that morning that I still can’t quite reconcile. I tried to sing it like I meant it, but the words stuck and soured.
I believe You’re my Healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You’re my Portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus You’re all I need
And that’s where my worship fizzled out.
I just couldn’t do it. Not honestly anyway.
I’m just not sure it’s true.
Is Jesus really more than enough for me? Really all that I need?
I’m not so sure sometimes.
Jesus has been showing up in Josh’s office a lot lately.
Random portraits of him surface and then disappear. For a while, one of them hung right behind his desk, which seemed an odd thing to walk in to since the wall opposite featured a list of Dwight Schrute quotes. (Like this gem, “Before I do anything, I ask myself, “Would an idiot do that?” and if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing.”)
But then that Jesus disappeared, and, just as randomly, this one materialized in its place:
He claims he has no idea where it came from.
It’s funny, these random Jesus sightings. Not because we think Jesus is funny, but because something about these pictures feels odd in Josh’s office. This soft-haired, sparkly-white-robed, serene-faced fella hanging out by some rose bushes and a clock just doesn’t seem quite right. Something is off.
That something is possibly the reason why I’ve often struggled with Jesus over the years. And I don’t want that. I want to love Jesus more. I want him to be all I need.
But he isn’t always. Or hasn’t been.
And I need to figure out why.
Because until I do, I suspect I will always be a little off.
A year or so ago, I stumbled upon a passage in Isaiah that made me nearly squeal with joy. I might have gone ahead and squealed, but it was early and the kiddos were still asleep and outside of Jesus showing up in the flesh in my living room, there is absolutely no good reason to threaten that kind of quiet.
“Who is this who comes from Edom,
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
The context of this passage is looking-ahead to when the Messiah returns and declares victory for God’s people over its ruthless enemies, namely the Biblical city Edom and its capital, Bozrah.
As for me, this passage pictures Jesus so differently from the flower-sniffing Jesus in the garden or the placid-faced, pretty-haired guy peering over Josh’s shoulder in his office that I almost have to do a double take.
This is Jesus?
I like this Jesus.
I could fall in love with this Jesus.
Really, misunderstanding who Jesus is is not an uncommon problem, but it’s also not one that I can blame on anyone but myself.
If I have turned to anything other than the Word for the final authority on Jesus’ true character, then I have set myself up for disappointment. The Bible is clear on who he is, and it is absolutely not disappointing.
There are no passages in scripture about Jesus hanging out in rosebushes (or telling time), but there are places—like this one in Isaiah—that have him dressed in battle-stained clothing, warring and winning against evil. This is a Jesus of justice.
Nor does he watch us timidly from afar. Instead, Jesus “lives always to intercede” for us before God (Heb. 7:25). This is a Jesus of mercy and action. A Jesus who is at work on our behalf right this very minute.
This Jesus surrounded himself with the yucky, the welfare cases and the losers (Mark 2:13-17). He loved the small and unimportant and cared for the growling tummies of little children (Mark 5:35-43). He initiated rule-breaking when it was necessary (Mark 2:23-27), and spoke boldly on Truth when it was in question (John 8:31-32).
He left no doubts about who he was or how we attain salvation (John 8:24b, 14:6)
This is the True Jesus.
I don’t need the Jesus our world tries to picture. I need the Jesus the Bible tells me spilled his own blood out of love for me.
So I’m working on it, friends, and praying daily that God will help me love him more.
Will you too?
Let’s stop settling for the guy picking roses.
Because the True Jesus is more than enough. The True Jesus is a God worth falling in love with.