The Jesus of the modern age is a diminutive figure, soft and unassuming. This Jesus doesn’t challenge us; just loves to love. This Jesus never raises his voice, but purrs obediently like a neutered kitty. This Jesus also bears no resemblance to the disruptive Jesus of the Gospels.

The real Jesus was a carpenter in an age when that meant something. He wasn’t the designer-jeans-wearing carpenter of a home remodeling show, who shies away from dirt and dust. He lifted lumber and chiseled rock.

The real Jesus was described as a shepherd. This wasn’t a euphemism for a gentleman farmer tending domesticated chickens on an oversized cul-de-sac lot. This biblical sort of shepherd had to fight off fearsome beasts and poachers in the wilderness.

The fake Jesus of the modern age is a model of woke sensibilities, waving an LGBTQ flag while spouting passages from “Critical Race Theory for Dummies.”

The real Jesus spoke forcefully not only about overt sin, but the sin in our thought lives. When Jesus intervened to spare the life of an alleged adulteress, he wasn’t condoning the polygamous and polyamorous sexual indulgences of our age, but forcefully condemning even our lustful thoughts and unnatural desires.

Where the fake Jesus of the modern age preaches a warm inclusivity of the absolute validity of all contradictory beliefs, the real Jesus points to a single, narrow path to righteousness.

The fake Jesus of the modern age is a virtue-signaling tool of the elite, urging obedience to the whims of the self-anointed intelligentsia.

The real Jesus openly mocked the ill-gotten gains of the ruling-class who profited by imposing extra-biblical rules on the citizenry. The real Jesus had great respect for people who earned their wealth through hard work, yet spoke with open scorn against those who prospered through government dictates.

In one of my favorite passages of the Gospels, we find the real Jesus overturning the tables of the moneychangers. To be clear, the marketplace did not need or want these “businesses.” Holy scripture did not call for moneychangers to exist as part of Temple worship. No, these were politically connected people profiting off rules created to serve the whims of the rulers by enriching their cronies. Rather than engaging with debate, Jesus simply drove them away with a whip… A whip scripture tells us He strategically spent considerable time fashioning Himself.

The fake Jesus of the modern age tells what we want to hear; the real Jesus leads us where we need to be.

The fake Jesus points us to eternal hell, while creating a hellish world of slavery on earth. The real Jesus offers salvation in the hereafter, and freedom in the here and now.

We embrace the fake Jesus to our peril. We follow the real Jesus to real joy.