I can see it now! Imagining that the New Testament had not been about the son of God becoming personified, but instead Jesus displaying himself in the 21st century for the first time. Sitting here at Starbucks, I daydream about this moment and I envision what it would possibly look like.
Would I possibly see a poster on the current local events board, with a portrait of Jesus and a caption proclaiming “The son of God, see him live on the ‘heal your situation’ tour!” And Jesus, being the man of the hour wouldn’t just travel by himself. I’m pretty sure he would have a sweet tour bus, all decked out with comfy seats, beds, lights, granite counters, flat panel tv’s and of course, the latest christian music playing overhead.
His groupies would be following him around in smaller vans, all ready to serve him by setting up the stages, getting the lights just perfect and a killer sound system so that everyone could hear the life changing truths that are being spoken by the God-man. To start off his shows, I mean, evangelistic campaigns, he would invite only the best ‘worship’ bands around. Because they are one of my favorites, we’ll say Hillsong (because I really like their new album.) To keep with the idea of wanting to reach as many as possible, this event would no doubt be free. But let’s be honest…who would want to keep a bunch of Christians from the blessings that will pour out in their life through their generosity? So, Jesus would probably take a love offering for himself. After-all, eating out at Applebees and gas for the bus isn’t free.
And Jesus would be all about ‘reaching today’s culture’, so undoubtedly he would be wearing the current fashionable trendy clothing of today. He’d probably have a hair/makeup team traveling with him even. We all know that in order to reach people, you have to look amazing! His water-to-wine trick would be performed on the bus after events, and the feeding of 5 thousand would be done for the largest conferences. Mostly because it’d make him look cool, again, important.
I’ll stop now. I hope you realize that I don’t honestly think this is how Jesus would act if he were physically present and living as human in today’s world. I don’t think he’d be all flashy and full of himself. In fact, I remember moments in scripture where he told people not to tell others who he was. So why is it that we have such an infatuation with the “celebrity” status within the Christian sub-culture? Maybe you don’t struggle with it, but I have. I’ve been the guy who put people on a pedestal who were “doing amazing things for God” or “such a powerful speaker”, and while on the outside I try to paint a picture of someone doing “God’s work”, in reality, I’ve been guilty of admiring the kingdom that someone has either built for themselves, or others have built up around them. Not every ‘celebrity’ of the Christian faith is wrong in their attitude or lifestyle, in fact, it’s more likely that they are really trying their hardest to not let it be about them. But we, as brothers and sisters in this ancient/current faith, must remember to be Jesus centered. It isn’t about growing our personal kingdoms, or acting like 12 yr old girls at a jonas’ brothers concert when we attend Hillsong. It isn’t about their kingdom either. It’s about Jesus.
It’s about a real God. Set apart. Infinite. All powerful. King.
It’s about His kingdom. It’s about us learning to live out his characteristics.
There is a fine balance between, “Follow me as I follow Christ” and “Follow me as I’m a good leader.”