John Eldredge author of,   has seen too many people who don’t have a full, vibrant picture of Jesus, and he wants to change that.

Our perceptions of Christ have often been shaped by Sunday School pictures of an attractive white man in a spotless white robe.

“If we have these religious pictures of Jesus in our mind, to be honest, it’s hard to like him.”

We are used to Jesus as a pious, devotional and historical character. We forget he is real. John wants fellow Christians to see beyond this familiar caricature. He wrote a prayer for those who want to know the fullness of the real Christ:

“Jesus, I ask you for you, the real you.”

Knowing the real Christ means we are closer to him. Being closer to him means we can take on any hardship or pain life throws at us. This type of close connection with God should be normal. God’s passions should be invading our lives and transforming us into his likeness.

Unfortunately, that’s not normal for many.

The reason we don’t go all-in to experience Jesus is because we’ve been given this religious, two-dimensional, uncomfortable picture of Christ. This picture flows out of strict, structured religion. According to John, the tenancy to be a Pharisee didn’t end in Jesus’ day. This tendency continues to this day. Satan tries to use it to poison our view of Christ.

So who is the real Jesus?

•   Jesus is playful.

•   Jesus has a sense of humor.

•   Jesus is brilliant.

•   Jesus is cunning.

•   Jesus is humble.

•   Jesus is also incredibly disruptive.

•   Jesus is scandalously generous.

John emphasizes that Jesus has a personality that we gloss over.

“We have to get his personality back and then let his personality infect our lives and infect our churches.”

Beautiful outlaw