My friend Kevin DeYoung recently spoke at the Next conference (a conference organized and put on by another friend, Josh Harris). I was sorry that I couldn’t go and support my brothers. But I was taken by something Kevin said in his message that was posted on the Next blog. He said:

There are a lot of popular versions of Jesus in culture. There’s a Republican Jesus who’s for free-market economics. There’s a Democrat Jesus against Wall Street and Wal-Mart. There’s a therapist Jesus who helps us cope with life’s problems. There’s a Starbucks Jesus who loves fair trade coffee and Apple computers. There’s a touchdown Jesus who helps Christians run faster and jump higher. There’s the martyr Jesus who died so that we could feel sorry for him. There’s nice guy Jesus. There’s spirituality Jesus. There’s good example Jesus.

And then there’s Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter says, “You are the Christ of God.”

Most people have a shrunken, domesticated Christ who is safe, easy and manageable instead of the real Christ. The closer you get to him the more you love him and the more you fear him. God is calling you to stop playing games and to stop making excuses and to open your eyes to see Jesus as the Christ. He is more glorious and loving and gracious and powerful and more wonderfully terrifying that any of us can ever imagine.