Monday, March 07, 2016

DJD307 - Jesus Icons

Read More Daily Jesus

Colossians 1:29

Starting Question:

What happens when you get double clicked?

Jesus Icons

 Imagine you are one of the little pictures on the home-screen of your computer - an icon. When you get double clicked, what do you open up? 

The word icon (or Eikon in its original Greek) has been around for thousands of years. It means “image.” Just like on your computer, an icon is an image that represents something else. Jesus was once asked by his followers, “Show us the Father” (John 14:8).

Jesus was taken aback — they could only ask such a question if they didn't realise who He really was. “Have I been with you all this time,” Jesus replied, “and yet you still don't know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9). Paul explained the nature of Jesus by saying, “Christ is the visible image [eikon] of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Paul was saying if you double click on Jesus, He will open up the Father—every time!

I'm OK with this idea. Jesus being just like God the Father sits well with me — it makes sense. But Paul takes the whole icon — living in the image — idea a bit beyond my comfort zone when he says Jesus “makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18). It was Paul's belief and teaching that the more time we spend looking at Jesus, the more we become like Him.

In another place, Paul writes, “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (Colossians 3:10).

Paul wants everyone to realise that when people are looking for Jesus, they should need to look no further than His followers. When people double click on a Christian, they should have Jesus open up before them!

Now I'm uncomfortable. Paul, always one to push things to the edge, put it boldly when he stated, “You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). I am very reticent to say this as boldly as Paul. Even though I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for more than four decades, I shudder at the thought of other people following me because they are “sure” I'm following Jesus. It sounds arrogant, until you realise Christians aren't trying to be like Jesus — Jesus is making them more like Him.

It's a world of difference and Paul understood it. Followers of Jesus are more like Him with each passing moment as they keep their eyes fixed on Jesus. So it's not the Christian saying, “Hey follow me, I'm like Jesus.” It's actually Jesus saying, “If your faith is struggling to see the invisible God, double click on one of my icons!” 

Every person on earth is an icon that, when double clicked, leads to their passion and pursuit. True Christians are icons of Jesus. Double click on one and they will lead you to Jesus — every time.

Reflection Question:
What new nature is Jesus putting on you? How can you tell?

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?

Further Reading:
To Be Like Jesus, Page 75

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