In following the Shepherd, I have attempted to keep my mind pure. I have learned not to read certain books or articles. But, online it is difficult to avoid images that may be offensive; those that we know are abominable to God. There are some that cause me to tremble, and others grieve my heart. The main problem with these is that once seen they are etched in my mind, and difficult to delete. I used to use the symbol of the cross to white out the picture in my mind. But that did not always work because it is not a full picture. Recently I knew I needed something broader; and so with the following picture imposed Psalm 23. (If you know the source of this picture please let me know.) The image represents the power of God’s word over all things; the source to which I turn in any situation. The cross is simply a reminder of how God’s word and power have been brought to me. Psalm 23 is one of the first Psalms I learned as a child, and on which I have relied in my life.
Jesus Christ is the image of the living God (Colossians 1:15); the express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3). God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) Christ is the truth (John 14:6) I am in the Father, and the Father is in me (John 14:10). I and my Father are one (John 10:30).
Jesus has said, and I believe that He is God, the visible image of the invisible God. No one has seen God except the Son. Neither Jesus, nor anyone in His day attempted to paint a true picture of the invisible God, nor did anyone from His day leave an image of Jesus. Anyone who has drawn from their own imagination what they think Jesus looked like are using figments that will never come together to form anything close to His spiritual beauty and holiness. These images have become ludicrous to me as I desire to worship God in spirit and truth.
These images are used in many different forms, even as animations to aid in presenting the gospel. They are fictitious and can stand in the way of the gospel being presented to a hungry soul who needs the Holy Spirit to imprint the truth of Jesus Christ in their hearts. The true Jesus needs no images. He leaves His own impression in the mind and the heart. The lives of His followers are the true images that are portrayed in this world.
Like the images on canvas, many people are portraying a false impression of Jesus Christ to the world.
A second point is that images of Jesus depict Him here on earth. He is no longer just a baby in a manger, nor a teacher/preacher/shepherd, nor a man dying on a cross, but He is the risen Savior/Redeemer, the High Priest of Heaven, King of kings and Lord of lords, interceding for us; ruling and reigning until He has put all enemies under His feet. Only a few men have seen God in his glory. Moses, Elijah, Isaiah had special revelations before Jesus came to earth. John beheld His glory after He ascended back to the Father, Paul saw His light. But none of these were given images. Neither His glory nor the essence of His holiness can be captured by the human mind.
Leave me with God’s word and the true Shepherd, Savior, Prophet, Priest and King will lead me by His Spirit to remember Him. He will keep me and transform my thinking and images according to His truth and His love.
“Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
Dear heavenly Father, we need your protection for our eyes and ears. Make us to know your presence and power with us today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.