I know that many picture Jesus as this laid-back, “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do”, kind of guy. The Jesus of the Bible is quite controversial. If you don’t believe it, I would be glad to state some supporting facts.
- Jesus was controversial in His person. He had the audacity to stand up as recorded in Luke 4 and say that Isaiah 61 was a Prophecy about Him. He was bold enough to claim to be the Son of God who could forgive sin. When the people of His day were looking for a Messiah who came to be served, Jesus came to serve and give His life.
- Jesus was also controversial in His associations. The upstanding religious people of His day had a reputation to uphold. They had rituals to keep so they would look Holy even if they were not holy in character (see Matthew 15). He spent His ministry with 12 guys who meant well but didn’t have it all together. He associated with prostitutes, tax collectors, the sick, and the ceremonially unclean.
- Jesus was controversial in His methods. He healed on the Sabbath – a religious no-no. He taught differently than the religious teachers, using parables and object lessons. He even spit on the ground, made mud, and rubbed it in the eyes of a blind man in order to heal Him. Unconventional, I would say!
- Jesus was also controversial in His afterlife. Other religious leaders died. So did Jesus, but He conquered death unlike the others. Through His life after death, He provides life to all who repent and believe. In the end, He will return as King forever.
Many pastors try to make Jesus a little more conventional. Like it or not, Jesus was and is controversial. He went against the norms of His day and still goes against the grain of a generation that wants a way to Heaven apart from Him. He is the Only Way!!! While the world may continue to portray Him one way, I will continue to proclaim Him as the Bible reveals Him – a controversial Savior who changed my life.