There are many inaccurate portrayals of Jesus in the world today, especially among false religions and their leaders. They will tell people that Jesus eagerly condemned people of their sin. They say He didn’t always heal people because it’s not always His will. Still others portray Jesus as pious or boring or tolerant of all. Are any of these descriptions true? What was the real Jesus like?
Many stories in the Bible actually reveal the loving nature of Jesus. If you take the time to read the Word, you cannot deny that Jesus was patient, compassionate, and concerned for the lost. We read over and over again of His willingness to heal, His acceptance of the imperfect, and His power to transform lives. Several stories show that Jesus responded to the people who were often times rejected by society.
Look at the apostle Matthew. Jesus chose Matthew, a hated tax collector, to be one of His twelve disciples. The Jews despised tax collectors. This alone indicates that Jesus did not adhere to what culture or society approved, but instead looked at a person’s heart. He knew Matthew was an outcast but Jesus saw qualities and abilities that would further the Kingdoms of God. He knew that Matthew would follow Him, and obey the calling on his life.
He did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, but spoke words of wisdom that set her free. But he told her to go and sin no more. He ate with Zacchaeus, who was a publican, a chief tax collector, and a sinner. The woman with the issue of blood, who illegally came out in public, He healed in spite of the religious leaders because of her faith.
There was a Samaritan man, who was considered an outcast that Jesus sited as a good example in his taking care of a man who was beaten and left for dead.
What else can we learn about Jesus from the Bible? Jesus instructed us to be kind, to forgive all, to go the extra mile, to walk in humility, stay at peace, help the poor, pray for our enemies, and treat others as we would want to be treated. He showed great patience and gentleness toward the humble and those who were seeking truth, but He preached the law to the proud. We also learn that Jesus healed everyone who came to Him.
Jesus never forced anyone into church and as a matter of fact, He once threw them all out. Jesus loved people but He hated sin. Make no mistake. Jesus never compromised the truth. He was not shy of rebuking the proud, pointing out sin, and condemning evil in any form. In fact, He only condemned the actions of the religious leaders.
Sadly, it was the very religious leaders of the day, with their many rules, who condemned, looked down upon, and sought to punish sinners. The rules they enforced were rules they did not follow themselves. Jesus called these men hypocrites, full of extortion and excess, liars, dead men’s bones, fools, blind, unclean, and from their father the devil. He asked them, “How can you escape the damnation of hell?” Jesus didn’t fear their threats, nor did He worry about offending them. They hated Him because He sat and ate with sinners, prostitutes, publicans, Samaritans, tax collectors and other outcasts (Matthew 9:10). The ones who were considered undesirable were the ones honestly seeking the truth. The religious leaders, who should have known Jesus as the Messiah, denied the truth or twisted it to fit their needs. This could be said of some religious leaders today.
If you have committed sins that you are ashamed of and feel you can’t come to Jesus, you are mistaken. He loves you despite what you’ve done or how you have lived. Jesus wants to take your burdens and sins away. His desire is to spend time with you, help you through life, and then take you to live with Him forever in heaven. This is the true and living God, Jesus Christ. Open your heart and sincerely ask Him into your heart today.
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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell