Vision of Jesus

if you were asked
to describe Jesus
to paint a picture
of his person

his personality
his character
his values

his essence

how would you
describe him?

this question came
to my heart and mind
in the middle of
an insomniac episode
the other week

i wondered how
those around me
would answer
this question

what would be
the focus of their

would it be:

his teaching, his words, his ministry
his mission, his miracles, his heart
his glory, his faith, his journey

what would
it point to?

what he did
what he said
or who he was

(both who he was
to other people
and who he was to
his heavenly Father)

can our vision of jesus
only be from the eyes of man
or do we have a vision of jesus
given to us from the eyes of god

our description
our vision of jesus
may reveal our own
perception and belief
about who jesus is

we may find our answer
to this question
exposes our understanding
(or lack thereof)
of what jesus was about
what he represented
what value he added

our vision may also
paint jesus as mythic
an abstract concept
instead of grounded
in spirit and humanity

i already know the vision
one of my dear sisters
would paint me of jesus
if i were to ask her for it


because her life is bathed
in this language of the divine; 

when she prays, or speaks
she points to a vision of jesus
as a glorious, radiant, holy king

who is so worthy of our worship, and
whose presence asks for reverence

her vision echoes of the scriptures
so deeply informed by john’s vision of jesus
which we see described in revelation 1:12-18:

" i turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me.
and when i turned i saw seven golden lampstands, and among
the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe
reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.
the hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his
eyes were like blazing fire. his feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace,
and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. in his right hand he held
seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.
his face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. when i saw him, i fell
at his feet as though dead. then he placed his right hand on me and said:
“do not be afraid. i am the First and the Last. i am the Living One; i was dead,
and now look, i am alive for ever and ever! and i hold the keys of death and Hades."

in this vision of jesus we see how:
holy, pure, fierce, powerful, glorious he is

he commands there to be no fear in his presence
he declares he is living and reigns eternal over death
he is painted as wool, snow, fire, rushing waters, a sword, the sun

note, john’s vision of jesus “the son of man” in the new testament
echoes daniel’s vision of the son of man in the old testament (10:5-6)

i love this vision of jesus
and i was curious to ask
more of my loved ones
the following question:

how would you describe jesus?

here are
the responses
i received

i pray these
may encourage you
to consider how
you would describe
j e s u s

Imagine having a friend who has been with you before you were even born, who, despite all your failures, never leaves you, is always forgiving, aiming to please and yearns for you to hand all your troubles to Him. Jesus is my constant companion, friend, confidant and loves me so much that He was prepared to die for me, that I may live with Him forever in the place  He is preparing for me in Heaven. Death holds no fear for me as I look forward to the time I will meet Jesus face to face and be reunited with my loved ones, who also lived their lives trusting in Him as their precious God and Saviour.
My first thought is that he is my best closest friend whom I know I can trust with all my heart to love, help comfort and protect me every minute of every day for the rest of my life  also that he always hears and answers all my prayers. He is everything to me.
I anticipate that my response to this HUGE question would change depending who was asking, our relationship, what they already knew of Jesus, why they are asking and time available! I would hope my response would invite others in to the beautiful joy of knowing Jesus and being known by Him. I would not desire to provide an intellectual response, but one that demonstrates how much Jesus means to me and how much He loves each of us. The most simplest response? Jesus is perfect love - God in the flesh. But how can something finite describe something infinite? We will always be limited by our words, our understanding and our experiences. Jesus is incomparable, uncontainable, indescribable and unchangeable. The Bible tells us so much about the ways, the words and the works of Jesus. It describes who Jesus is, why He came to earth, how He lived a perfect life, what he did through His suffering, death on the cross, resurrection and ascension to heaven. There are so many names used to describe different aspects of the nature of Jesus - Mighty God, King of Kings, Saviour, Good Shepherd, Teacher, beloved Son of God, Immanuel (God with us), Deliverer, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Healer, Prince of Peace and the list goes on. All that Jesus is, He is for us. We can see glimpses of the glory, majesty and beauty of Jesus in creation and nature, in the witness of people’s lives, in art and music. Jesus is always wanting to reveal Himself to us and will use many different ways to get our attention and will never ever stop knocking on the door of our hearts and desiring to bring us life in abundance.
... It would take a lifetime and more to really think through everything that Jesus is! Hmmm. It's not about finding nice words to describe him - it's about seeing what he DID: how he walked on this earth, who he talked to, who he healed / led/ raised to life / spoke to / walked with - that's where we see who Jesus is. he healed, listened, spoke truth to power, sat with those on the margins of religious structures. he calmed the storm, walked on water, fed the hungry. he washed his disciples' feet. he rebuked religious leaders who were abusing their power. he loved. he wept. he prayed. he comforted. he did not cast the first stone. he told stories. he ate with tax collectors. he lived homeless. he entered Jerusalem as king.... on a donkey. he suffered in so many ways. he died, he rose, he cooked fish on the shore for his disciples, he was patient with those who doubted. it's in Jesus' LIFE that we see who he is and who God is
it's an interesting topic ... especially because we are given
absolutely nothing in terms of a physical description of jesus...

when i asked one dear sister
she responded with:

“… i did a jesus drawing the other day
also would describe jesus as tender and
cheeky / sassy / drywitted like an older brother”

below is her image and interpretation
[ image and words by kristen baker ]

The background feels to me to represent the unseen swirling darkness lying in wait to see the Lord destroyed, the powers of darkness poised to overcome him. His shoulders bear most of his wounds and are the focus as he literally shoulders all our burdens - our sin and fear and rejection and death. 'Surely he took up our weakness and and carried out his wounds we are healed' Is 53:4-5. We don't see his face here - our hearts could hardly bear it, I think. He became as one 'from whom people would hide their faces, he was despised and we esteemed him not' Isaiah 53:3. The violent red at the bottom is a hint of what's to come - the blood of the Lamb to take away the sin of the world. It's a confronting process to draw wounds onto Jesus. It makes me feel more of its weight, like I'm the one who's hurting my friend on purpose. I feel like I'll never fully understand the mystery of my saviour Jesus on the cross. The depths of Jesus' love and pain and how my life is somehow part of this too. But where exactly? Do I find my own wounds buried in His? How is my life somehow both lost and found here, kneeling before this cross and surrendering all, or finding myself outstretched with Him and yet also graciously exempt - onlooking, full of either wonder or horror or both. I relate to Jesus in prayer like a big brother - when I hear his voice, it's always kind and yet often funny and blunt, always gentle and yet very challenging. Growing in loving Jesus helps me to grieve the cross even better - we often start with the cross and don't move on from feeling ourselves condemned and guilty. There was a long time when I couldn't believe that God wanted to get close to me because he hated my sin so much. But in light of Jesus' resurrection and us follwoing in His freedom and love as his children through the Spirit, we can look to the cross and see the extent of God's love without distancing ourselves from Him out of shame or fear anymore. The cross is Jesus' stamp on our reality that nothing can stand in the way of His love for us.

this dear sister also pointed me
to another artistic description of jesus
posted by mandy wilde on this page:

I've never drawn Jesus before...its always been super intimidating to me. If I mess it up...that's the Son of God. He is perfect. And I am wayyyyy too far from being talented enough to make the drawing perfect. I erased and redid the smile maybe 12 times before finally saying "good enough!" And moving on. His eyes aren't quite symmetrical, his hair isn't perfectly shaded, and his clothes are just scribbles (cause at that point I was ready to toss in the towel). But this drawing taught me something: the nature of Christ. It doesn't matter what our drawing looks like. He loves us. He holds us. He hugs us. When we are at our most unlovable, He loves us. He gives hope to the hopeless, he forgives the unforgivable, and restores the ruined. He saves me everyday. Everyday I mess up, everyday there a things I wish I could erase. Things I just royally ruined. He willing chose to pay the price of those mess-ups. Those unforgivable things. Those unspeakable things. He took them. And He loves me still. And I hope to tell others about the joy and peace that only He can bring. That's why I'm here. Drawing this perfect man, imperfectly. To hopefully teach someone else the endless love our Savior has for them. Because He changes EVERYTHING.

Respond from the Heart