Recently I have found myself wondering about the lenses through which we view Christ. What makes us a follower of Christ? What does Christ give us? Why do we follow this man Jesus? When did I become a believer? But the more and more I thought about it, I discovered that the central question that we must all ask is not a what, when or why, but rather the question central to each one of us will always be “Who is Jesus to me?” The answer is much bigger than a simple, “He is our savior”. We must take a minute and find out who He is to each one of us. I am not speaking about who He is once we start diving into the Scriptures, but rather, who was He when you first found Him? Who is the Jesus you first fell in love with?
The answer to this question for me shaped who I have become in Jesus. So I put the following before any and all to consider. Who is Jesus to you? If He was the father figure you were missing, then maybe, just maybe, you slowly became that father you picture Him to be for you. You take your parenting very seriously and desire to parent as Jesus would. If you saw Jesus as the groom coming for His bride, perhaps you focused on learning what the husband looks like, or you focused on what it means to be the bride of Christ (or at least a part of it). If you saw Jesus as the man who came to challenge the status quo or challenge the religious system then perhaps you take pride in doing the same. Perhaps you spend time fighting and focusing on the systems of the world.
I look over my life and can truly only use that as a starting point, but when I found Christ, it changed how I viewed the world. When I first found Him, He was who I needed Him to be. He was the One that I was looking for and filled a role in my life. And that role that He filled started my quest to know Him more. As that relationship started, I started to find Him more and more in that role. For me it started as a Father. So now that I am a Father, I desire more than anything to display Christ in my parenting. I desire to have the heart of Christ as I take care of my daughter. I find myself watching other parents and (wrongfully) judging them. I get frustrated when I see someone that does not enjoy their children as much as I feel Christ loves us. (I fully admit that this judgement is not right, but I am trying to be honest). The Lord delights in His children and He sacrificed all for them. It is in this role that I discovered the love of Christ.
As I grew older in life and (hopefully) matured, who Jesus was transitioned somewhat. He became “the groom”. I desired to find His heart in what it means to be a husband. I am far from the perfect husband, but I am trying to take who Jesus is an be that. I am trying to take the example He has given us and place it into my marriage.
And perhaps Jesus became all of these things to you as you grew in maturity. Perhaps He was originally the father you never had, but over time you have grown to see Him as the husband you mimic or long to wed. Maybe you now fight the systems of the world, desiring to make His kingdom real in the here and now. I know that it is a simple question to ask, but it can be difficult to answer. I have found though that in life, it is often the best place to start when we feel that we have lost ourselves. When we are trying to find out what our identity is in Christ, finding out who Christ is, is a fantastic place to start.
He is always willing to be who you need Him to be, when you need Him to you find your way back to Him. He will be there. He will always be the father to the fatherless, the bridegroom coming for his bride, the freedom from the world we need. So often though we find ourselves caught up in trying to mimic Him that we forget to find His love that provides the motivation we need. When we allow Him to love us, the way we need to be loved, that is when we learn how to love as He does. Loving as Christ does is more than trying not to get upset at our children, our wives, and the world. Loving as Christ does is finding the heart of Christ and displaying that. Most people can tell the difference between someone who is fighting their will to get upset or angry and the person that is able to forgive because they are living through Christ.
So I leave you with these questions Who is Jesus to you, in this moment? How can that help you grow to love Him more?