Stop Hijacking Jesus
There are times when I struggle with Jesus because the picture that has been painted of Him by the world (and let’s face it, some so-called Christians as well) is not who He claims to be in the Scriptures. It follows then that the Jesus I am struggling with is not the real Jesus, but a hijacked Jesus.
It is common in our day, and in many days of the past, to pit the Jesus of the Gospels against the God of the Old Testament and against the writings of the Apostles and their companions. This is a tactic of a so-called Christianity that does not have as its foundation that God’s Word is just that: God’s Word. In other words, it is not a “faith” that has any substance.
Biblical and Historic Christianity has held that the words of the OT and the words of the NT are congruent with each other, because, even though they are the words of men, they are words that are inspired by God.
There is no room for a seminar on the doctrine of inspiration here, and there is no need since materials are readily available and accessible. What I want to draw attention to is the idea that Jesus was somehow saying anything different in the NT than He was saying in the OT. Yes, Jesus spoke in the OT. “How is this possible?” you ask. It goes back to our fundamental understanding that both the OT and NT are God’s Word, and Jesus is God (the Second person of the Triune Monotheistic God of Christianity). Therefore, they are the words of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You have to jettison the Trinity or come up with some convoluted theory that the OT authors were merely writing down what they were interpreting God as saying then to only have Jesus come along later to correct it. This results in the hijacking of Jesus.
Here’s what I mean: those of us who are in the stream of historic and Biblical Christianity are accused of misrepresenting Jesus when we quote Paul or refer to an OT passage to answer a question as if these sources are not also the words of Jesus. Simply because Jesus did not address a particular topic in his ministry on earth (which we may or may not know, cf. John 21:25), does not imply that Jesus is not in agreement with Paul or the OT. In fact, we submit that there is perfect congruity. This does not also mean that there are some difficulties we encounter when addressing such issues as the Mosaic Law and what, if any, application that has to NT believers. We must have strong hermeneutical standards, but those hermeneutical standards are wrecked if we do not begin with, all of Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16).
We are accused of hijacking Jesus. What I am contending is that we are more consistent in demanding that those who would accuse others of hijacking Jesus should stop doing it themselves. This means that, as Peter said, we need to be ready with an answer for the hope that is within us, and to give that answer with gentleness and reverence. It is this hope that Peter speaks of that compels us to make such defenses; it is a hope that is reliant upon the Word of God being the Word of God, and therefore consistent with the eternal Word of God, Who is God!
Jason is the Teaching Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Peoria, Illinois. He holds degrees from Moody Bible Institute, Calvary Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology at MBTS. He is married to Amber and together they have three children, Jonah, Karis and Aubrey. You can follow Jason on Twitter and Instagram at @doogilla.