Jiminy Jesus

Jesus iconsInterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an evangelical campus mission, was handing out these cards at a recruitment event at MIT last fall.  What a great discussion starter!

Jiminy CricketEven among Christians, there is no consensus on exactly who Jesus is, or on what cultural / political / religious icons he most closely resembles.  I guess growing up, I tended to see Jesus as a Jiminy Cricket sort of fellow.  You know, as a conscience to whom I could “give a little whistle” when I got in trouble or faced temptation.  As a buddy who looks out for me and helps me out of scrapes.

As a teenager, I tended to associate Jesus more with George Bush:  a political conservative and promoter of American values.  In my mind, Jesus was a Republican, which to me meant anti-abortion, anti-same-sex marriage, and pro-capital punishment.

The more I grew in my faith, though, the more I saw Jesus as a Mother Teresa, one who ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and all the other outcasts of society.  One who radically and sacrificially gave.  I tend to cling to this image still today.

Which of these icons were you taught that Jesus most resembles?  Have your views of Jesus changed since you were a kid?  What do you think is the most prevailing image that comes to mind when people think “Jesus” today?

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2 Responses to Jiminy Jesus

  1. A Daughter (and a Mom) says:

    At the risk of sounding self-serving — I equate Jesus to “Mom” — Just like Jesus, who died on the cross so that God’s children could have everlasting life, most mothers would literally die for their children (if it would save them from death or extreme pain). It was not until I had my own children did I truly understand how much Jesus must love us that He willingly was tortured to death in order to save His children. I believe most Moms would also do that. There are so many other similarities where Moms emulate Jesus — teaching their children right from wrong; teaching them about compassion and encouraging them to help those less fortunate; someone whom you can talk to when you have problems asking for help, advice or just a shoulder to cry on; etc.

  2. So true. Jesus does have a lot of motherly characteristics: He’s tender, nurturing, merciful, wise, and (perhaps most significantly, as you point out) he gives of himself liberally, sacrificially. We also interact with him much as we do our earthly mothers, running to him instinctively when we are hurt or scared. Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth-century English mystic, was one of the first people to expound on, in writing, the analogy of Jesus as Mother. Her writings are beautiful, definitely worth a blog post or two in the future. Thanks for your insights!

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