I started seeing them years ago. T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “Jesus is my Homeboy” or “Jesus Saves” complete with a picture of Jesus as a hockey goalie. It seems as though nowadays Jesus is looked at in a comfortable, informal and relaxed light. The message of God’s love has been delivered so many times without any other aspects of our Lord’s attributes being discussed that most professing Christians don’t have a clue who Jesus really is. Remember the disciple that leaned on Jesus at the Last Supper? The disciple who was one of Jesus’ inner circle and is often referred to as the “disciple of love”? Take a look at how he describes the first time he saw Jesus after the ascension:
“When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lamp-stands. And standing in the middle of the lamp-stands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” Rev 1:12-18
I have come to recognize that I am guilty of horrible sin, and sin is what is in my nature. To think of the God who humbled himself, allowed Himself to be tortured and killed to rescue me when I deserve Hell (not grace), and then run out and buy a “funny” t-shirt that portrays Him in some minimized or regular fashion is something beyond my comprehension. I’m sure some will read this and think of John 15:15 where Jesus calls His disciples His friends. And in a sense they (and we) are indeed friends of Christ. But let me remind you that it was one of these disciple-friends that fell to the ground as though dead at the mere sight of our savior. The concept of friends doesn’t equate to equality or informality. If you have one of these type shirts, may I encourage you to throw it out? Think about it!