I got to thinking… There are many ways in which our relationship with Jesus is described. When I think of Jesus, how am I supposed to think of Him? I heard a preacher on the radio once talk about how we like to say Jesus is our friend, our buddy. He didn’t think that was a good way to regard Jesus because it made Him on the same level as us. I see where he was coming from. Off the top of my head, here are some of the ways the Bible describes our relationship to Jesus.
Jesus is my Lord
Ok, let’s start with the obvious. We don’t have lords in our culture so there’s no modern thing I can point to do define what lord might mean. A lot of modern Christians use the word Leader, which I like. Basically, this is a slave/master relationship. He’s in charge and we do what He says. Now, keep in mind, Jesus always has our best interest in mind and he takes care of his servants like no other – so it’s not like a guy with a whip yelling at us to do his work or else.
Jesus is my savior
Here’s the other obvious one. One common way for we Christians to describe ourselves is as being ‘saved’. What this means is that we are rescued from the wrath of God that will fall on all he judges one day. Sounds pretty scary. Some also say that being saved also has to do with being rescued from the hold of sin in our lives. In my experience, Jesus is most often described as Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus rightly holds the title. The Bible has this teaching that really put a lot of people in the world off. Here’s the thing – Jesus said (and you have to believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God for this to hold weight) he is the only way to Heaven. The Bible says there is no name under heaven by which a man can be saved (except Jesus).
People like to point to this and claim that Christians are intolerant. They wonder how Christians can be so narrow minded and say there is only one way to Heaven. It’s not like all the Christians got together and decided they were going to hate all other religions and beliefs and say that Jesus is the only way. Jesus said it. Jesus is God. God made the world and the rules. I just don’t know by what authority anyone else could claim any different. Ok… moving on.
Jesus is my brother
So Jesus and I have the same Heavenly Father. When I became a Christian, I was born again – reborn with a spiritual life (or, born again). The Bible says I have been adopted into God’s family and am now His child. So Jesus is now my brother because we share the same Father. The Bible also says I am a co-heir with Jesus. So when Jesus inherits stuff, I will too.
Jesus is my friend
Jesus said to His disciples that a master does not share his plans with the servants but He has shared his plans with them – therefore He called them friends. There may be other places in the bible where it speaks of this kind of buddy relationship. I sometimes wonder if we have elevated this way of seeing Jesus too far above the others. Maybe it’s our need to feel special or something – or to make Jesus just an ordinary dude so non-Christians will find Him more approachable. I don’t know. I definitely see Jesus as being my friend, but my friend who so graciously allows me to be His friend – and who could zap me with lightning if He wanted to (which He wouldn’t, but you get the point)
Jesus is my servant
The Bible says that when Jesus left Heaven and came to earth (you know, on Christmas) he left all his God-ness in Heaven and became an ordinary man. It says He took on the very nature of a servant. The Bible also said that Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve. Now, I don’t have any authority over Jesus – so it’s not like I’m His master.
Jesus is our head
Yeah, that’s kind of weird. The Bible describes the Church (which is the whole of all Christians everywhere, not a local church) as His body. It says we are the Body of Jesus and Jesus is the Head of the body. Remember Voltron? It’s like that. All the Christians join together to form the body and Jesus forms the head and therefore is in charge of the body. So there is this communal connection we have with Jesus as well.
So there you have it. I know there are more than these. The many ways I can relate to Jesus. Is there one more important than the others? I don’t know. But put together, they make one very dynamic and complex relationship. What is important to remember is that Jesus always has my best interest in mind and desires intimacy. He cares deeply about me and knows that if I would only learn to put mySELF aside and follow Him completely I would have a life rich in purpose and fulfillment. Not only that, but His work on the earth would be accomplished through me (and others).