Theologians and all other types of historical experts have cast Jesus in so many different descriptions. As the Bible says some say he was this, and some say he was that. Some say he was a prophet, some a heretic, some thought of him as a magician, then others say he was the Messiah. What do you think?
As we navigate through contact with a widely diverse group of people every day, some think of him as a discourager. As one who discourages doing what we really like to do and instead wants us to do what he wants us to. I can see that perspective, but if you really look behind the scenes of his ministry, and understand his points, we see a strong encourager.
He encouraged us to come to him like little children, as we would welcome our own fathers and mothers to teach us how to navigate life. He encouraged the marginalized to come follow him into a life where they could find peace and joy. He encouraged us to love and pray for our enemies as a solution to discord. And he encouraged us to find a relationship with his father that would give us purpose for living.
The discouraging part for many in their beliefs is that Jesus represented more do nots than do's. If we look at it that we are our own god and he is just there to support us then we can understand why there is so much confusion as to who Jesus was. It's like we created him instead of him creating us.
In the Old testament Book of Habakkuk, the prophet laments on what all is wrong with this earth (1:2-4). to which God answers, "Look, see what I am doing - be astounded - for I am doing something you will not believe or understand". He was discouraged, but God encouraged him to watch and see with faith.
It goes back to that old saying God is God and I am not. He encourages us to remember that when we try to define who he is!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.