Most of us have been vaccinated against various diseases.
Vaccines work by injecting us with something like a weakened form of a disease which our body can fight off without difficulty. If the real disease comes along, our body can fight it off in the same way that it learnt when reacting to the vaccine.
What can I mean about being vaccinated against Jesus?
Many of us who have not yet encountered the real Jesus have encountered a pale imitation of him. Whether from school, church, Sunday school or the media, we have gained an image of a Jesus who is meek and mild; powerless and distant. We see him as someone who lived 2,000 years ago and has no impact on us today. We may think that he speaks in old-fashioned language and expects us to do the same if we want to pray to him. Not surprisingly, we react to this pale imitation of Jesus by rejecting him as irrelevant.
Then when anyone speaks to us about Jesus we ignore them – because we cannot see how he can be relevant to us. That pale imitation of Jesus has stopped us from having a life-changing encounter with the real Jesus.
The real Jesus is powerful and wants to make an impact on us, and through us on those around us.
Jesus was executed because his powerful message and the amazing things he did challenged the authorities as well as making people question established rules and practices. But his real power was made clear when he rose from the dead – so that he is still alive today.
Don’t reject Jesus based on a pale imitation. Find out about the real Jesus. He would love you to get to know him and to experience both his love and his power. You can start by reading a gospel or by coming along to church one Sunday. You can try praying to him – using simple everyday language – being honest with him about your questions, hopes and fears. Don’t give up until you know that you have encountered the real Jesus for yourself.
But remember that Jesus is powerful and meeting him for real is often life-changing.