“Seven Answers To The Question ‘Who Do You Say Jesus Is?’ All In One Chapter”

John Chapter One is amazing. It’s a chapter to read again and again and in which to always find something new. I had read it many times before coming across this list in a book somewhere. Now I can’t read this chapter without thinking of these seven titles for Jesus.

Seven Titles For Jesus In John Chapter 1

(1) “The Word” John 1:1

(2) “The Light” John 1:7-9

(3) “The Son Of God” John 1:18, 24, 49

(4) “The Lamb Of God” John 1:29, 36

(5) “Rabbi (Master, Teacher)” John 1:38, 49

(6) “The Messiah, The Christ” John 1:41

(7) “The King Of Israel” John 1:49

They also tie in nicely to the purpose of John’s Gospel.

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31 (KJV)

If I had to pick just two of the seven that were most essential, it would have to be “The Messiah, The Christ” and “The Son Of God” as these match John’s purpose in writing his Gospel and as a echo to Peter’s confession when questioned by Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-20)

Still, I think that the entire list of seven is important because together they present a more full picture of who Jesus is. For examples, if we only focus on “The Word” we have the intangible while “The Lamb Of God” is very tangible and if we only focus on “Rabbi (Master, Teacher)” we see the earthly while “The Light” is spiritual.

There have been many studies done on this chapter and these seven titles, and I encourage you to explore them further. The information is too vast to fit into a single post, and it’s much more meaningful when the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to you though God’s Written Word. (Not that I’m trying to dodge an opportunity to do a series of posts within a series of posts, but I don’t want to lose my focus – like I did earlier this week – as I’m working through “The Five BIG Questions” for the first time!)

“But He Ain’t The Boss Of Me”

This series of graphics focused on the BIG question “Who do you say Jesus is?” uses found images, usually old ones, that are then drawn and redrawn to hopefully convey a real person, but of today. This one is a mug shot for someone who was arrested on January 7, 1932 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Unlike some of the others, there are a clues that the source photograph was taken many years ago and I didn’t redraw or crop them out. People and heart attitudes haven’t changed all that much.

It’s important that this graphic is obviously a mugshot. It could be me because this man when apprehended boldly says what I have at times tried to hide away in my heart. Perhaps you as well? His eyes give him away, or so it seems to me.

I recently read this thought-provoking quotation.

The two things around which our Lord centered His most scathing teaching were money and marriage, because they are the two things that make men and women devils or saints. Covetousness is the root of all evil, whether it shows itself in money matters or in any way.

– Oswald Chambers “The Highest Good”

The arrested man may be somewhat “on the right track” but he has yet to get to the root of what has brought him to this point, covetousness.

I am wondering how it would be to set aside things like “This is what you are supposed to do with your money” and “This is what you are supposed to do with your sexuality” and instead judged for covetousness?

Covetousness is a thing of the heart, not the wallet or the body.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. Matthew 15:19 (NASB)

“Just Like Out Of A Sunday School Bible Story Book”

Seriously, I still have a copy of “Child’s Bible Reader” from when I was growing up, and almost every chapter begins with Aunt Charlotte telling the children another Bible Story. The story of little Samuel always was one of my favorites because it made me imagined that maybe God would wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me something! I still love stories that make me think, “That could be me too!” Anyway, the premise for this Bible story is a lot like what was always happening with dear Aunt Charlotte!

After Flamethrower Mommy totally torched “Jesus Is Lord,” I wanted to do a little more with that, and so this is a look at “Lord” in the Old Testament. I’m interested in what this word meant back then. This is why Nate says “Adonai, the Lord” in this comic strip.

I’m wondering if “Lord” has been altered (at least in my mind) by images of medieval lords and lowly peasants which are in contrast to our American values of equality and independence. I’m also wondering if maybe “Jesus Is Lord” has lost some of its meaning because it has been used as a slogan to promote a ministry or as a litmus test to identify “True Believers” and “Fake Christians.”

I’ve tried several different approaches to presenting Bible stories graphically. For me, the challenge is to find a balance between cute and cuddly Bible story books and dynamic and action-packed Bible story graphic novels.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my best current solution which still needs a some tweaking but which is hopefully moving a little closer to having a greater focus on the essentials. (You may remember “What Alien Invaders Eat For Breakfast!” is about this type of challenge. What are the absolute essentials that we would want to pass on as simply as possible? Hmm…)  Hope you’ll check back tomorrow!

“Three More Simple Words…My Whole Lifetime”

This is a follow up to yesterday’s sketch. It didn’t seem quite right to abandon, so to speak, the homeless waitress spending the night with her boyfriend on the beach. She represents so many of the people we meet everyday who have lives that we don’t fully know.

Her grandmother today hopefully reminds us that we never know what effect our words may have on Our Father’s prodigal sons and daughters. Each of us can help to point the way even if we don’t see the results.

She also puts the three simple words “Jesus Is Lord” into greater perspective with three more simple words “your whole lifetime.” At least that’s what my life is teaching me, and it may be just about the most important thing I have to share all week.

It is taking my whole life to realize Jesus is Lord. I’m not sure if it’s just my own stubbornness and selfishness or if that’s just really the way it goes for most people. At times, it seems quite impossible for me to live out, really live out, these three simple words, Jesus is Lord. Other times, when everything seems to fall into its proper place, there is nothing more filled with sublime joy.

One afterthought for what it’s worth…There is a difference between “my whole lifetime” and “my whole life.” I chose “lifetime” because that’s probably closest to what I’m feeling for these two sketches (and for myself). Sometimes it takes “your whole lifetime” of searching down disappointing and dangerous wrong paths to get to a place where you are able and eager to give “your whole life.”

“Cross-Stitched And Tattooed…Three Simple Words?”

This is a follow up to yesterday’s comic strip and a lead in to tomorrow’s comic strip focusing on “Jesus Is Lord.” It’s one of several graphics along this same line with the question “Who do you say Jesus is?” Some of these are more realistic than others. In this one, I’m wondering about the effects of religious-sounding slogans and also about self-help sermons focused on having the best life in every area a person could possibly imagine.

What happens when the slogans begin to feel hollow? What happens when “the best life ever” doesn’t materialize or turns sour? What happens when the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ are lost in our experience of God?

I started doing similar graphic “snapshots” not too long ago while working on “My Grandma’s Jesus.” These work well for me because they capture a thought quickly. The challenge is more in how to make the most out of just the graphic without relying so much on the commentary part (like these words right here).