Myths and Facts About Jesus Christ
Jesus is professed as Savior and worshipped by billions. But you may be surprised that much of what is commonly taught about Him is based on myths.
Just who was Jesus Christ? Historians, religious leaders, kings, archaeologists, priests, rabbis and authors have tried, for nearly 2,000 years, to define and explain Him. Those efforts have resulted in innumerable ideas about the Man who walked the dusty roads of Judea 2,000 years ago.
Some think He was the long-haired, blue-eyed figure portrayed in Western Christian art. Others see Him as the “pop star” portrayed in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.
To many, He was the greatest radical this world has ever seen. To others, He represents the ideal of conservatism.
Misconceptions and truth
Let’s briefly look at some of the misconceptions about Jesus Christ and show what the Bible actually reveals:
Christian art and movies have led to many impressions of Christ that do not square with the Bible:
- Christ is often portrayed as visibly distinct from everyone around Him in Christian art: taller, wearing white, pale and abnormally pious. The truth is that Jesus was prophesied to be an average-looking Jewish man (Isaiah 53:2) who often was able to escape danger by easily blending into crowds (Luke 4:29-30).
- Artists often portray Him as only slightly wounded as He hung on the cross. But Isaiah 52:14 reveals that “His visage [appearance] was marred more than any man.”
Perhaps nothing is more misunderstood about Jesus Christ than what He taught.
- Some see Him as an itinerant preacher who just taught a simple message of “love and grace.” Did Jesus teach His followers to just “believe” in God and love other people? Though love, grace and belief are vital aspects of what Christ preached, it is important we understand He also taught authoritative standards of behavior. Jesus taught, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). In other words, Christ’s definition of love was obedience to the 10 Commandments found in the Old Testament (Exodus 20). In fact, you may be surprised to learn that Jesus actually made those commandments more weighty (read Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28).
- Some think Jesus taught that the purpose of human life is to go to heaven after we die (if we have been Christians). But Christ actually clearly taught, “No man has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven” (John 3:13). He taught that His followers would rise in a future resurrection (John 5:28-29) and “inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
Was Jesus the human founder of the Christianity that claims over 2.1 billion adherents? Or did Jesus describe the Church that would be built after His resurrection and ascension to be much different?
- Jesus Christ actually described His Church as a “little flock” (Luke 12:32).
- Revelation 12:17 describes the true Church as persecuted people that “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” You can learn much more about the characteristics of the true Church by visiting our section on “The Church.”
This short blog post just covered a small sampling of the facts about Jesus Christ and His teachings that are contrary to what most believe about Him. Continue reading Life, Hope & Truth to learn more surprising facts about what the Bible actually teaches about Jesus Christ and other important topics!
For more about Jesus Christ, check out our section on “Who Is Jesus?”