Jesus of Nazareth has left an indelible mark on history and the allure of his person remains a tractor beam on the human psyche. He cannot be ignored, he cannot be shut down, he cannot be locked out and he will not be forgotten. But he is caricatured.
A caricature is an approximation, a distortion that imitates reality but without full truthfulness. It exaggerates partial truths making the picture presented a lie. The ancient church has always dealt with distortions as to the identity and mission of Jesus. Early false teachers would highlight his humanity bit deny his divinity. Others would highlight his heavenly nature to the neglect of the gritty humanness he shares with each of us. Other religions make up a Jesus of their own imaginations highlighting some facet of his actual nature. Muslims highlight his role as a prophet but deny his full unity with God. Many Hindus friends accept him as a guru and spiritual guide but not unique God and Savior. Mormons make his spirit brothers with the devil and the offspring of a sexual union. Even Scientology weighs with a bizarre caricature within their internal mythological creations. And then there is Southpark...Here Jesus is a talk show host like Jerry Springer, fights with the devil and battles Santa Claus. The caricatures abound and will never cease surrounding the enigmatic man who is God.
This fall at Jacobs Well we will be moving past all the caricatures to the one who is called The Christ. Not the genie in the bottle of the health-wealth-prosperity gospel. Not the levitating guy who spits out chicken soup for the soul. Not the long haired Northern European looking guy who hangs as a painting in many hallways. No not any of that. We will come to the Scriptures to see Jesus for who he really is and what he has done for the world.