Images of Jesus ~ A Sheep’s View

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.

0001tq You may ask me why I did not choose a picture of Jesus to replace unpleasant images. In a few simple terms I will explain where I have come in relation to these images.

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.”
Psalm 19:14

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.

Little Kids Grow Up to be Big Kids ~ Goats

Jesus warns us that there will be a separation of the sheep from the goats.

“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” Matthew 25:32

Where did parents get the idea of calling children “kids?”  I can’t find any solid information on this expression.  But besides searching for this in history, what are we saying when we use this word for the children God has given us?

Does God anywhere in His Word call us kids?  No ~ His children are sheep.  This puts a totally different light upon how we look at, and bring up our children.
They are lambs ~ not goats.  We may all act like goats at times, pushing and shoving one another, wild in our nature; but God, our Father has born us into a new nature through Jesus Christ’s work, and life,  and His Spirit within us.

Should we not also treat our children as if they are His children, though they do not yet act like it.  If we treat them as kids, letting them run wild in the field of this world they will indeed fulfill such vision as we have for them.

On the other hand if we consider them as “lambs,” doing for them what our heavenly Father does for us, we will provide for them, lead them, assure them, and nurture them ~ bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  (Ephesians 6:4) “discipline and instruction.” (ESV)

We will be a shepherd to them.  We will protect them, direct them, and correct them.
We will project to them the path, in which ~ and the goal ~ to which,  we are going together.  They will, in the process, come to understand their true role, and the purpose for their being a lamb of God.

The “kids” of this world are becoming the “goats” of tomorrow.  God’s “lambs” are becoming the sheep He expects them to be.  Only He can take a goat and make him a sheep.  “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17); “and have put on the new self, which is renewed in the knowledge of Him who created him.”  (Colossians 3:10)

The “lamb that was slain” became the shepherd that leads us to be the parents of His children ~  special gifts of life to us.  Give yourself to the “true Shepherd” and allow Him to work in you to bring up His children for His glory, your joy, and the joy of your family and others.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or think,”
by His power of grace working in us.
Ephesians 3:20

Psalm 23

Dear Father in heaven, “hold me by my right hand; guide me with your counsel.”  “Lead me in the paths of righteousness, for your name’s sake.”  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.