The experts attempt to find Jesus in their own way.
Years ago there was an academic initiative that became known as “The Search for the Historical Jesus.” The experts thought, “Well, maybe we ought to look behind the Gospels to find out who this Jesus fellow was.” These experts took pieces and parts of the Gospel of Christ and constructed a picture of this fellow Jesus. Actually what these smart people were doing (judging by the outcome of their endeavors) was looking into an imperfect mirror at their own reflections. This is the only explanation I can come up with that would explain why the Jesus they found looked an awful lot like themselves.
They went the wrong way and found the wrong man.
At times I feel this is what has happened in our churches today. Our “Jesus” is a reflection of ourselves. This is the constant danger when we do not simply read the Scriptures and embrace their testimony regarding Jesus Christ; many of us create a Jesus in our image, more often than not, domesticated. Regrettably, much that dominates the Christian media appears to be affected by this same tendency. Any Jesus who is not both Savior and Lord, Sacrificial Lamb of God and King, cannot be the Jesus of the Gospels. Also, any Jesus who does not call us to radical, sacrificial, and yes, painful, discipleship, simply cannot be the genuine Jesus.
Jesus is found in the Holy Scriptures, in the Holy Bible.
I think our problem is that we open the Bible and attempt to fit the Scriptures into our lives, our way of living; when we should be fitting ourselves and our lives to fit the Scriptures. We want to see Jesus, not as He is but as we would like him to be. A Jesus that condones our sins, sins which to us are always little unimportant sins; if not condones, at least puts up with them. A Jesus that is content with us as we are instead of a Jesus that demands that we change; and under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, work towards becoming holy.
It is we who must do the changing; not God!
A person that does not change, but stays just as they were before their supposed conversion cannot be called a Christian because they have not been truly converted. Jesus calls us to repentance to a changed life, to turn from the way we are heading and head in the other direction; towards holiness and righteousness; towards a godly life, a life that corresponds to His life. I suspect this is at the root of the problem. The heart of man is deceitful; it cannot be trusted to do the right thing regarding God. It sees itself as good; It sees no need to change; it sees no need to change the direction of it’s life. So what do we do is attempt to change God.
It’s hard to accept that natural man is this way, but this is the way he is.
Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” KJV
The heart is deceitful “the heart is supplanting-tortuous-full of windings-insidious; lying ever at the catch; striving to avail itself of every favourable circumstance to gratify its propensities to pride, ambition, evil desire, and corruption of all kinds. And desperately wicked, and is wretched, or feeble; distressed beyond all things, in consequence of the wickedness that is in it. Who can know it? It even hides itself from itself; so that its owner does not know it. A corrupt heart is the worst enemy the fallen creature can have; it is full of evil devices, of deceit, of folly, and abomination; and its owner knows not what is in him till it boils over, and is often past remedy before the evil is perceived. Therefore, trust not in man, whose purposes are continually changing, and who is actuated only by motives of self-interest.” From Adam Clarke’s Commentary
God cannot change; we are the ones who must change if we ever expect to know Him and glorify Him.
The only way to change; the only way to overcome the heart that directs the life of the natural man is to take the Scriptures as indeed the Word of God; accept the fact that they mean exactly what they say and approach God accordingly. Accept that when God says your heart is a cold dead hard lump of coal; it is indeed that. Accept that when God says you are doomed to an eternity away from Him because you are not fit to be part of His Kingdom, it is the truth. Accept that, just as God says in His Word, the Bible, there is only one way to get right with Him; and that way is through the blood of Jesus Christ; that that is the way it is.
We have got to look at the real picture; both of ourselves, but most importantly Jesus Christ
The Bible draws us a true picture of Jesus; the picture of the perfect, sinless, obedient, Jesus Christ; both God and man; both the Savior and the King. We cannot make Jesus into want we want Him to be; We must let Jesus make us into who He wants us to be. The only way that becomes possible is when we believe what God tells us in His Word about Jesus (with no reservations) and believe what He tells us about ourselves and turn from our old way of life (with no reservations) and confess with our mouth that He is who He is; our Savior and Lord.