Pictures of Jesus
Why does God give us so many pictures of believing in Jesus? Why not just some philosophical treatise on faith, or some systematic theology of faith? Why illustrations? And why so many?
First, because faith is so hard. Unbelief comes naturally to us; faith is unnatural. Faith is so hard it has to be given us by God. And he gives it to us partly by multiplying the pictures of faith to maximize our understanding and exercising of it.
Second, because people are so different. Because of our different backgrounds, personalities, needs, etc., if God had only given us one picture of faith, it might not have suited everyone. He gave us ten (more than ten, in fact) to ensure that everyone could have a picture of faith that would suit them.
Third, because God’s desire for faith is so strong. Take these ten pictures as a vivid expression of Christ’s passionate yearning for us to believe in him. Read these ten pictures of faith and try to still believe that he really doesn’t want you to believe in him:
- Believing in Jesus (Acts 16:31): Instead of being pessimistic cynics who doubt and question Jesus and his Word, we become optimistic believers who put full confidence in him and all that he says.
- Coming to Jesus (Matt. 11:28): Instead of hiding from Jesus like outlaws trying to evade the Sherriff, we move towards him as friends to our BFF.
- Trusting in Jesus (Prov. 3:5): Instead of fearing Jesus as our Judge and trembling to even think of him, we put all our confidence in him as our Savior.
- Looking to Jesus (Isa. 45:22): Instead of shutting our eyes to Jesus, we see him and his beauty in and through his Word.
- Resting in Jesus (Heb. 4:10,11):Instead of laboring and sweating to build our own little shack, we give up all our trying and doing, and walk through the open door of the palace of salvation he has already built and there relax in perfect peace.
- Receiving Jesus (John 1:12):Instead of trying to give Jesus our best efforts, we become a receiver of his perfect work.
- Calling upon Jesus (Rom. 10:13):Instead of ignoring or refusing to pick up his call (or perhaps even cursing on the line), we start calling upon his Name for everything.
- Turning to Jesus (1 Thess. 1:9):Instead of following our own GPS over the cliff of idolatry, we turn in the opposite direction and start following his GPS.
- Obeying Jesus (2 Thess. 1:8):Instead of fighting against Jesus and his Gospel, we run up the white flag of surrender, hand over our weapons of rebellion, and say “YES” to the Gospel.
- Eating and drinking Jesus (John 6:44-58): Instead of feasting on the world’s sinful pleasures, we feed with deep satisfaction on Jesus by thinking about him and communing with him.
When God supplies so many rich and varied pictures of believing in Christ, I dare you to still believe that he doesn’t want you to believe!