Updated: Jan 10
A few weeks ago my mom bought my son a new desk. Now in his defense, he told my mom that if he had a desk it would be so much easier for him to do his homework, to stay organized, and have a place to work on all his projects.
So there we were sitting in ht house just finishing up dinner when suddenly the door bell rang. Standing outside was my mom telling us the desk is in the back of the truck. There in this flat box was a desk. On the front of the box was this picture of what the finished product will look like. It has drawers, slides, a cork board, all the things you would expect a desk to have. The only catch, we have to build it.
So as we walked into the house, and into my son’s room we opened the box. There in front of us seemed to be a million pieces. Now, I am pretty handy and have built many things before. This doesn’t seem too complicated, and I told my son to go get the tools we would need. I started grabbing pieces out and laying them where they would go. I thought to myself in a good 20 minutes we would be done, my son would have his desk and I could go back to what I really wanted to do.
Now maybe you could understand my shock when more than an hour later I am still looking at this desk like the biggest nemesis I have ever fought. We would put things together and then take them back a part understanding we might be missing some crucial information. It was at this point I reached over and grabbed the handy instructions that came with the desk. Apparently this was going to take more than just looking at the picture on the front of the box.
As we kept working it made me think of how often we, as christians, take the same approach to our lives as I did with this desk. We have this picture of Jesus in our minds. In my mind it is the Jesus I met when I was younger. This Jesus that just seemed to love everyone, was gentle and kind. Treated everyone with respect, and just told these nice little stories.
However, the more I have studied the Jesus found in scripture, the more I have seen the Jesus I had in mind is different. The Jesus I see in scripture, yes is loving, but He also is not afraid to raise His voice (Mark 11:15-19). The Jesus in scripture is kind, but He also is not afraid to just walk away from people (Matthew 11:15). The Jesus I see in scripture is encouraging, does tell this nice little stories, but is also not afraid to get gory with it either (John 6:54).
See so many of us build our lives off a picture we see of Jesus, and not the actual version of Jesus scripture shows us. In fact, the entire point of the Bible is so we may know who Jesus really is. It is not a road map to life, it is not a self help book, the Bible allows us to know the person, nature, and work of Jesus. We need to stop looking at the picture we have, and start getting to know the real Jesus.
Once I started using the instructions, the desk was completed in about another hour. Yes, there were times even with the directions it was complicated, it took a little more time to study and see what the instructions were saying, but it got finished the proper way. This is what we need to do. Yes, it may take more time for us to see the actual Jesus, but if Jesus is who we are building our lives around then shouldn’t we know what He is really like?
Stop looking at the picture of Jesus, pick up the Bible, join a community of disciples, and get to know the real Jesus. It will change your life!