Take Him As He Was
Take Him as He Was
At a certain point in His ministry, Jesus was so popular in the region of Galilee that the crowds mercilessly pressed upon Him. To more effectively teach, Jesus used a boat for His pulpit. The crowd gathered on the shore and Jesus sat in a boat and taught them, just a few yards offshore.
After a long day of teaching the multitude, Jesus wanted to finish. Instead of returning to shore where the crowds gave Him no rest, Jesus said to the disciples, “Let’s go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.” So the rest of the disciples climbed into the boat, and Jesus went with them.
I love how that is phrased in Mark 4:36. Here are the words: They took Him along in the boat as He was.
They did not stop for supplies or send a messenger ahead. They were all tired and hungry – especially Jesus – but they took Him along in the boat as He was.
For a moment, picture that scene with me and consider some of what it means that they took Jesus along in the boat as He was.
We must take Jesus as He was. Almost every world religion has something kind to say about Jesus. They want to take Jesus, but not as He was.
Some people take Jesus as they wish He was. They imagine Him as “Jesus the flower child” or “Jesus the unapproachable” or the “Jesus of my particular cause.” Most of the time when people do this, they create a Jesus of their imagination by what they leave out of His teaching or life. People do the same thing when they create “Jesus the moral reformer” or “Jesus who never offended anyone.” But we can’t do that; we have to take Jesus as He was.
Some people take Jesus as others present Him. But even the best sermon about Jesus falls short of Jesus Himself. Teaching about Jesus is good if it helps us to take Him as He was, but no one’s teaching – no matter how good – can do the whole job. This is why we have to come to the word of God and Jesus the Word, again and again, asking God to help us take Jesus as He was.
Some people take Jesus as they see Him in the lives of others. Every Christian has the responsibility to reflect Jesus in their life, but no one does it perfectly. If you look at a strong area of my life, you may see some of Jesus reflected there. But if you look for Jesus in a weak area of my life, you will not see Him as well. If we only take Jesus as He is reflected in the lives of others, we won’t get a true representation of who He is. We have to take Him as He was.
A.W. Tozer wrote, “What comes to our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us.” If we will be correct about what comes to our minds when we think of God, we must look to Jesus – and take Jesus as He was.
Not as we wish Jesus was.
Not as others may present Jesus.
Not as you might see Him in the lives of others.
So, spend some time and read the Bible, especially the gospel records of the life of Jesus. Read them, study them, and learn who Jesus was. Then, make sure you take Him as He was.