Different people will have different views on religion because of the variance in the philosophies held by every individual in relation to the matter. For this reason, people belonging to the Christian religion will have different views on Jesus Christ and why He came to this earth as man. Despite believing in the same religion, different Christians will have contrasting views on Jesus Christ and his mission on this earth. Philip Yancey is one of the authors who has tried to create an understanding of Jesus Christ in the Christianity and the reasons behind his coming to this earth. This is in relation to the discussions created in his book “The Jesus I Never Knew”.
Yancey begins his book on a description of the Jesus he thought he knew as a child. His first acquaintance with Jesus was when he was a child during Sunday school. Yancey says, “I associated Jesus with Kool-Aid and sugar cookies and stars for gold attendance.” By his views as a child, Yancey shows how most children as Christians will view Jesus. Yancey viewed Jesus as kind and reassuring and this was one of the reasons why he kept on going to the Sunday school just to know more about this Jesus. Another view of Jesus by Yancey is seen during his years in Bible College where he associates Jesus to a comic character (Yancey, p.14). This is after viewing the portrait of Jesus outstretching his hands to the world. Later on in the book Yancey gives his view on Jesus Christ from an adult’s perspective and this is where the aspect of the knowledge of sins comes into play. Yancey creates the impression that knowing Jesus is a transitional process that begins from childhood to adulthood. This is because the view point of Jesus Christ from a child’s point of view differs from that of an adult.
Philip Yancey offers his views on Jesus Christ and why he came to this earth. His view point of Jesus is that he came to save mankind from the world of sin. By eating the fruit from the forbidden tree, Adam broke the close connection between man and God. Therefore, Christ came to this earth to act as a bridge to the close link that was cut off by Adam’s sin. Yancey’s views the works of Jesus on the earth as living proof that God still cares for his people despite the sins that they commit against him. It is important for any Christian to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus came for the good of those who are far from good and are considered as outcasts from the society (Yancey, p.19). By this knowledge, Yancey proposes that therefore Jesus came for people such as those who were kicked out of the Bible College due to inappropriate behavior and also those who were rejected by the churches. This is a true notion because these people are considered to be sinners and in the past they were considered as unclean by the high priests. It is therefore indeed true that Jesus came for these people so as to re-establish the connection between them and God.
Just as man is prone to temptation from the Satan, Jesus too was at some point tempted. The answers that Jesus gave during the temptation reveal that the knowledge of the scriptures is very important because this is what enabled him overcome the temptation. This acts as an urge to Christians to have the full knowledge of the scriptures which are the teachings of God. Jesus shows the importance of fasting during the temptation. He also shows that worldly things are material and man should not waste time chasing earthly riches but the kingdom of God instead. On the same note, Jesus shows mankind that there is none to be worshipped but the one and true God. These teachings are important for any Christian because they act as a guideline for living righteously. Christians should not succumb to the temptations of the evil one.
Yancey reviews the life of Jesus and sees that the high priests and those in authority viewed him as a person who had come to cause trouble maker. They also viewed him as a person who had come to contradict the laws of Moses hence a disturber of peace. However, further teachings show that they were all wrong. The mission of Jesus on this earth was to spread the gospel which would be used to save mankind from sin. The miracles that Jesus performed have also been highlighted by Yancey and hence they act as living proof that God is capable of doing anything good to mankind. This is clearly shown by the miracles that Jesus performed.
Yancey highlights on the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sake of mankind. This shows that the love that God had for his people was so great and this is what made him give up his only son to die on the cross for their sins. People mocked and whipped him but he was humble enough to accept the suffering because it was for their sake. After the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, resurrection is what follows. This is a symbol of victory and therefore acts as a motivation to any Christian. Any Christian who follows the acts of Jesus Christ is a victor. Any Christian experiences death and this is because of the sins of the world. Once the sins are forgiven through accepting Jesus Christ, the Christians seem to have resurrected from sin. This is why Christians are encouraged to confess their sins as this would act as a way of resurrection.
Despite belonging to the same religious denomination, different Christians will have different views on the Messiah; Jesus Christ. These views however, should be for the welfare of Christianity. This is the reason why the teachings of Jesus Christ are consistent so as to bring harmony to mankind. People should have the full knowledge of the scriptures so as to avoid having contradicting views on Jesus Christ and his mission on this earth. People are encouraged to read the bible and to follow the laws of Christianity so as to stay away from sin as this is the only gate pass to eternity. Acknowledging Jesus Christ and his mission on the earth is all that is required for the forgiveness of sins.
Yancey, P. The Jesus I Never Knew. New York: Zondervan, 2002.