How do you picture Jesus? Here in North America we imagine Jesus as a good looking European type. In Asia he is pictured as Asian and in Africa he is African. More than just appearance, our understanding of him is based on cultural and historical experience. Much of our interpretation is sub conscientious perception. However; we often squeeze Jesus into a mold created by our desire to make him fit into our context.
The consequence of doing that can be devastating:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
We need to be vigilant to read scripture within the context it was written. Failing to do so may lead followers astray. David Platt, in his book “Follow Me,” points out that saying a sinner’s prayer is not biblical and does not necessarily lead to salvation. We are call to make disciples (students and imitators) of Christ and to do so, we best get it right. We need to be more concerned about biblical truth than numbers as everyone is waiting to hear what they want to hear.