Fake Jesus Weekly Outline
When Jesus was walking this earth, he attracted huge crowds, but in just about every story about Jesus in the gospels, you realize that they came for all sorts of reasons. Some come for forgiveness and salvation, others to fix physical ailments, others to get food, others to get power. The same is true in the world today, many people follow Jesus, but nothing is new. They follow him for all sorts of reasons. So, as a new pastor steps in to shepherd Cross of Life, it's important to know not only THAT he follows Jesus, but also WHY he follows Jesus. So, for our first couple weeks, we are going to compare and contrast a number of misconceptions of Jesus with who he truly is and see how the true Jesus is more beautiful, glorious, compassionate, powerful, awesome, and ultimately joy-giving than any fake Jesus.
"Jesus is Mine...or is He?"
Do you own Jesus or does Jesus own you? Many people see Jesus as the one who walks with them, supports them, builds them up, or watches over their life. But that’s a fake Jesus! Jesus is your life! Jesus is not someone who walks next to you, but instead carries you. He does not support you, he takes on your enemies for you. He does not build you up, he allows you become one with him. This subtle Fake Jesus can leave us feeling like Jesus is an accessory to our life when we are truly an accessory to his life. We see the glory in being expendable when Jesus isn’t just our Cheerleader, but is our Hero.
"Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
Many see Jesus as a means to an end. The more Jesus I have, the more holy I can become, the more “Christian” I can become. While there is no doubt that a Christian can grow in their sanctification, it is a lie of Satan that we are actually getting any “better.” We are still sinners and bad ones at that. We cannot escape the devil, the world, or our sinful nature, and while we may start to look good on the outside, that can lead to a feeling of “success” in the Christian life. This Fake Jesus expects us to work hard at our faith instead of realizing that he is the one who authors and perfects our faith. Let’s rest in our baptism that has connected us to Christ and let that be enough.
"Not Safe, But Good."
C.S. Lewis famously wrote about Aslan that he’s “not safe, but he’s good.” Aslan was the picture of Christ in The Chronicles of Narnia. Jesus is the same way. He’s not safe, but he’s good. There is a Fake Jesus that exists who is your kind, loving, snuggly friend who will hold you when things are going bad. While it is true that Jesus is kind and compassionate, this Fake Jesus eliminates the powerful, fear-inducing, “crush Satan’s head” Jesus who kicks butt and takes names. In short, this Fake Jesus is a softie. The true Jesus is both God and MAN(ly), and his powerful traits are awesome. He’s not safe, but he’s good, and he’s good to you.
"Rules or Relationhips?"
There is an axiom that goes, “An increase in rules causes a decrease in relationships.” Is that true? In Christianity, it’s hard to know if that axiom is always true, but we do know that the Jesus fulfilled the rules so we can live in freedom. Therefore, we cannot follow the Fake Jesus who makes sure that we live truly “Christian” lives by making all sorts of “Christian rules.” Many may think of how “good Christians” never got tattoos or went dancing as examples of making rules where Jesus hasn’t made rules, but unfortunately, this false Christ still sneaks his way into our Church and messes up our priorities. The true Jesus has broken the chains of the law so we now live in relationship with him and with others.
"WIll The Real Jesus Please Stand Up?
In order to spot counterfeit money, government agents are forced to study genuine money for days. It is our temptation to want to do the opposite when it comes to Christ. We always want to know “What’s the difference between that denomination and this denomination” or “between that religion or this one?” But Jesus wants you to know that spotting the Fake Jesuses will get easier the better you know him. This final Sunday exposes the false Christ who is absent, who left us to do his mission. Jesus is here, he is with us, and because we know him, we know God in his fullness.