A quick run through scripture and you will read statements from God to us like "Be Holy as I am Holy." and "Love others as I have loved you.". The message of the Bible is that God loves us passionately and empowers us to live in a way that pleases Him.
However, many of us reject that version of what God wants from us and would rather create our own ideas of what God desires. Those desires usually match up closely with what we want. In fact, many of us create our own little personal Jesus. There was a group of folks during Jesus' day who seem to have fallen pray to this false religion. They had watched Jesus closely. They didn't like what they saw because Jesus didn't conform to their expectations for Him so they went a little crazy. After He healed a man on the Sabbath and proclaimed He was Lord over it they took matters into their own hands:
At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus. Mark 3:6
It seems an unlikely group to decide to kill God (yes, Jesus is God). After all, they had studied the scriptures more than anyone and they were the people to go when you sought to know what God desired and required of man. A quick read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) will show you that this group was trying awfully hard to do right but that it was based upon their own interpretation. When Jesus would interpret the law correctly for them they would not accept it. They felt like the could interpret the law better than its Creator...that seems a bit naive. They became callous to Jesus' teaching. They become callous to the truth. They created their own truth and followed it.
Rather than conforming to God's desires and being transformed by God's power, they would say, "Jesus, how about you just be like us?". They wanted their own personal Jesus. They wanted that so badly that they were going to kill the real Jesus so they could keep doing things their way. Does that seem like a bit of a control problem to you?
Are we willing to follow the God of the Bible or are we falling into the same line of poor thinking by creating our own personal Jesus? The Jesus you and I could create in our minds will have no power to save, not power to heal and no power to give us eternal life. These are all the benefits of following the 'Real Jesus'.
Have a great Monday and follow the Real Jesus. If you wonder what that looks like then stay tuned over the coming weeks as we see a group of people follow Him very closely.