who is the authentic Jesus?
In the opening line of their book, “Vintage Jesus”, Marc Driscoll and Gerry Breshears make this simple yet profoundly true statement: “No one is more loved and hated than Jesus Christ.”
They go on to say…
“At first glance, Jesus’ resume is rather simple. He never traveled more than a few hundred miles from home. He never held a political office, never wrote a book, never married, never had sex, never attended college, never visited a big city…he died both homeless and poor. Nonetheless, Jesus is the most famous person in all of human history. More songs have been sung to him, artwork created of him, and books written about him than anyone who has ever lived…no army, nation, or person has changed human history to the degree that Jesus, the homeless man, has. Some two thousand years after he walked the earth, Jesus remains as hot as ever.” (emphasis mine)
But why? Why does he remain as hot as ever? And why is he not only so passionately loved and hated, but also so clearly misunderstood? It seems that everyone has their own opinion or understanding of who Jesus really is/was…consider these quotes about Jesus:
“Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.” –Mikhail Gorbachev (former leader of Communist Russia)
“Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God…” –Thomas Jefferson
“I never saw a contradiction between the ideas that sustain me and the ideas of that symbol, of that extraordinary figure [Jesus Christ].” –Fidel Castro (Cuban Communist Dictator)
And my personal favorite: “Jesus is ‘the buffalo calf of God’.” –Lakota Native American tribe
And what about the various world-religions and cults? What do they say?
-Jehovah Witnesses say that Jesus was merely Michael the archangel, a created being that became a man.
-Mormons teach that Jesus was not God but only a man who became one of many gods; they further teach that he was polygamist and a half-brother of Lucifer (Satan).
-Scientology teaches that Jesus is an “implant” forced upon a Thetan about a million years ago.
-Buddhism teaches that Jesus was not God but rather an enlightened man like Buddha.
-Islam teaches that Jesus was merely a man and a prophet who is inferior to Muhammad.
-Hinduism teaches that Jesus was most likely a wise man or an incarnation of God much like Krishna, and certainly not the only God.
But what does the Bible say about Jesus? Who is the real Jesus, the authentic Jesus? And what does our culture, even the Bible belt culture of the deep-south say about Jesus? Can we know who Jesus really was/is?
Our vision statement at Bama Cru is…
Helping students and faculty break through cultural barriers to see and experience the Authentic Jesus.
We are passionate about helping you discover the authentic Jesus…not the Jesus who is painted with the strokes of a misunderstanding and ill-informed culture…not the Jesus is who is conveniently caricatured and manipulated to fit into whatever our world-view may be…and not the Jesus of the many world religions who will go to great lengths to minimize his importance, his influence, and his divinity.
We want to help you encounter, experience, and express the authentic Jesus…the Jesus of the Bible.
In this first month of the school year we’re going to be teaching about this Jesus at our large group weekly meetings. I invite you to come join us and encounter this Jesus in the pages of the Bible.
He’s different from what you might think.