WHICH ONE IS THE REAL JESUS?
One dark and gloomy day a man sat on a bench lost, cold, his lips shivering, and clothes soaked from the rain. A stranger walked by during his morning stroll and stopped to help him. “Sir, you look lost and cold, is there any way I can assist you? I was on my way back home, would you like to join me?” asked the stranger. “I will get you some warm and dry clothes to wear and hot food to eat.” The man nodded his head, “No.” The stranger sat quietly with the man in the cold while getting drenched by the rain. The stranger sat there for hours. The man didn’t say a word. Finally, the man said, “Thank you for your kindness, Sir, but I would like to sit here alone if you don’t mind.” The stranger, with tears running down his cheeks, slowly got up from the bench but left his white cloak so the man would stay warm. As he walked away, he looked back and said, “Sir, just know this, I love you and you are always welcome at my home. I come this way every morning and if you ever change your mind, just let me know.” Then the stranger walked home.
Later that morning, another stranger walked by and saw the man cold, soaking wet, and shivering in the rain. He thought to himself, “This man needs my help.” The stranger went over and said, “Sir, it looks like you need my help. Would you like to go with me; I can take you home and get you some warm dry clothes and food to eat?” The man nodded, “No.” But, the stranger insisted. He pointed out to him all the dangers he would incur if he remained in the woods at night. But the man told him, “No, thank you, I will be fine.” Then the stranger ignored the man’s words, picked up the man’s bags and started walking, leaving the man lagging behind. The man was angry and furious because the stranger forced him to go home with him when he was quite content sitting in the cold and rain alone. The stranger was happy he had done a wonderful deed by helping a poor, lost, and lonely man for the day. But the man sat miserably in the stranger’s house trying to figure out a way to leave.
As you read this story, which man was the ‘Real Jesus?’ Here’s a hint: Which stranger allowed the man the freedom to choose to go with him or not? If you are not sure, then let me share scriptures from the Amplified version of the Bible.
Matthew 22:1-9 – This is the parable of a Father throwing a party for his son and sent out invitations to his friends but they all made excuses why they couldn’t attend. So, the Father said to his servants, leave them alone, go and invite strangers from the city and whoever wills to come, let them come.
John 3:36 – Jesus said, “He who believes and trusts in the Son and accepts Him [as Savior] has ETERNAL LIFE [that is, already possesses it]; but he who does not believe the Son and chooses to reject Him, [disobeying Him and denying Him as Savior] will not see [eternal] life, but [instead] the wrath of God hangs over him continually.” Remember: ETERNAL LIFE is a person (Jesus Christ) we welcome INTO OUR HEARTS!
I hope you saw the ‘Real Jesus,’ as the first stranger. Jesus is such a wise and gentle gentleman, who will never violate our will to choose. He sat beside the man in the cold and drenching rain, covered him with his cloak, then offered him an invitation to come stay with him in his house; the man nodded his head “No.” Our Lord Jesus honored and respected the man’s wishes.
Let me share an amazing discovery concerning our Lord. BECAUSE HE IS LOVE, “Love Always Sets Us Free to Choose to say Yes or No”… that’s what UNCONDITIONAL LOVE DOES. It sets us FREE to choose: life or death, disobedience or obedience, flesh or spirit, and Truth or a lie.
Don’t be deceived my brethren. There are many voices of deception teaching us that our Lord will violate our wills and make us do something we don’t want to do… that includes ALL will be saved and go to heaven. (Christian Universalism) Heaven will be a miserable place for people who don’t want to be there, who chose to reject Jesus, and are made to live with Him throughout eternity, anyway. From the beginning, our Father gave us a choice. Remember, that’s what love does. It gives us choices and also tells us the consequences.
Genesis 2:15-17 – So the Lord God took the man [He had made] and settled him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely (unconditionally) eat [the fruit] from every tree of the garden; 17 but [only] from the tree of the knowledge (recognition) of good and evil you shall not eat, otherwise on the day that you eat from it, you shall most certainly die [because of your disobedience].”
Because Adam and Eve made a terrible choice, mankind suffers from the consequences of their disobedience. But, because of our Father’s amazing and gracious love for His children, before Adam ever sinned, Jesus chose to come to this planet to reconnect us to our relationship with our Father and our eternal home. We have a choice, free-will to say yes to Him or not.
Jesus so sweetly came to be ‘The Way’ the Path, back home.
Jesus came to be ‘The Door’ back to our Father and from earth to our Eternal Home.
Jesus came to be ‘The Truth’ about who we really are so we won’t walk in lies.
Jesus came to be ‘The Life’ who is the Eternal One living in and through us forever.
GOD’S LOVE SETS MAN FREE TO CHOOSE OR REJECT HIM. Our Father’s heart breaks because He desires no one would perish and all experience the glorious Eternal life which is ours IN CHRIST. But He has seen through the corridors of time, ALL WILL NOT CHOOSE TO GIVE THEIR HEARTS TO HIS SON.
“ETERNAL LIFE KNOCKS ON THE DOOR OF EVERY HUMAN HEART…
BUT WILL WE LET HIM IN?”
Prayer: Thank you, Papa, for loving me so much, You gave me the power and Grace to choose. I could have been just a puppet in life, instead, You gave me the power to make my own choices both good and bad. I am grateful though, Christ lives in me to do of Your good pleasure because You realize, I can’t do anything that brings you glory and honor without Him. Amen