Tag Archives: perception

Seeing Jesus in the Church

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.  Luke 19:1-4

stained glass JesusMake no mistake. God was at work in the heart of Zacchaeus, drawing him toward Him.  God placed a yearning in his heart that would make this wealthy businessman climb a tree like a child in order to get a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by.  God still does that.  He is still in the business of drawing people to Himself.  And whether or not all the marketing surveys show it, He is still drawing those people to the body of Christ…His church.

The question is, are we doing our part to make sure an unbelieving world can actually see Jesus in us when they look?  When God stirs their hearts to go to some lengths to “climb trees” in order to get a glimpse of Jesus in us, are we conducting ourselves in a way that helps?

When a watching world looks at our social media posts, do they see Jesus?

When the gay waiter serves our table, will he see Jesus?

When our  banker sees how we handle our finances, does she see Jesus?

When those people who voted for the other party in the last election show up at our church, do they see Jesus?

When that  telemarketer calls our house, will he hear Jesus in us?

When that staff member gossips about us, will he look and see Jesus in us?…

Matthew 23 Does Not, Of Course, Apply to Me

Tuesday Re-mix –

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long…”  Matthew 23:5

bibleWhen I was in High School, my Dad gave me a Ryrie Study Bible.  I wore it out.  I was proud of that Bible.  It wasn’t just the huge size of it (it was a larger Bible than the hard-back “Living Bible” so many of my friends carried)…it was all the commentary in it that made me proud.  It was a little unusual for my circle of High School friends, so it drew some attention.  And when friends opened it up to look at it, it just screamed “THE OWNER OF THIS BIBLE IS A BIBLE SCHOLAR AND A TRULY SPIRITUAL PERSON!”  Seriously.  You could hear it. The advantage, of course, of having that Bible was that I didn’t have to tell anyone anything about me in order to manage their perception of me.  They need only have seen my Bible.  I liked that.

In 1984, on my 24th birthday, my Dad gave me a “preaching bible”.  It was black, with a very thin profile.  By then, I had grown mature enough in my Christian walk to be a little embarrassed by my huge Study Bible(s).  (I actually had several of them by then.)  This “Thin Line” Bible was understated.  When friends saw it, it said (in a very low key, nonchalant voice), “the owner of this Bible has so much scripture crammed into his brain, he doesn’t really need a big study Bible.”  My attitude toward Study Bibles had changed.  Actually, I think I heard a Christian comedian make a joke about huge Study Bibles and how pretentious they were and it changed how I saw them.  I certainly did not want to …