The Five Jesuses I Have Known

My good friend, Leonard E. LeSourd, long time Executive Editor of Guidepost Magazine, introduced to the five Jesus’ he had known. The title confused me at first. Then he explained how one’s understanding of Jesus changes as they grow spiritually.

The first Jesus was the one with a pale anemic face as depicted on the wall in Sunday School. He believed in God, went to church, and was a perfunctory Christian. Apart from church He was given little thought.

The second Jesus was the historical Jesus he learned of in college. He was easy to take a comfortable position toward. He was a historical figure set far from the mainstream of life. He joined the intellectual crowd who in chorus said, “Jesus was a good man, a great teacher, but you have to be cautious about those myths and fairy tales.” Having such a view of Him prevents one from being considered a fanatic.

The third Jesus he drifted to was Jesus the teacher. In the process of applying for a job he encountered spiritually mature people with a faith he admired. A salesman said to him, “Jesus is the greatest teacher, and there is practical value for us in the gospels for us today.” He grew to consider Jesus as a good psychologist. He understood people. All this was fine as far as it went. Unfortunately his interest was not in what He was and is, but what He could do for him.

The fourth Jesus emerged after college when a fellowship group introduced him to Jesus the person. He wandered into a church and eventually their activities. To them Jesus was more than a teacher, He was a man of adventure. He thought what an adventure it must have been for the apostles to follow such a man.

The fifth and most meaningful Jesus was the indwelling Jesus. On a weekend retreat with peers they began talking about making a personal commitment to Jesus. At first he thought he had already done that in that he believed in God and went to church.

One in the group described how he had made a personal commitment to Jesus as Savior. This made him uneasy because it was a threat to his self-confidence, an emotional faith he had always tried to avoid. Soon he realized it was more than that. Before he left the retreat he knelt and prayed, “Lord I want to give my life to you, and I do so now. Show me how to be a good disciple.”

Life thereafter wasn’t always easy. Some failures and losses followed, but his new found faith supported him. He realized the same power that sustained the apostles in all of their trials was available to him. Thus, he began his faith walk.

With which of the five Jesus’ are you most familiar? Don’t stop growing until you are confidentially familiar with the fifth Jesus.