July 03, 2009

A Portrait of Jesus Christ

Colossians 3:1-11

You … have put on the new self … being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Colossians 3:9-10


Throughout the centuries many artists have tried to portray Jesus in paintings, drawings, sculpture, and other art forms. Rembrandt, for instance, strove to depict the face of Christ as realistically as possible. One of the best known of these works is The Head of Christ (c. 1655). In the past century, Warner Sallman’s portrait of Jesus, also called The Head of Christ (1941), shaped the way an entire generation pictured Christ. Sallman’s work has been reproduced more than 500 million times, making it one of the most popular art works in history.

By describing the fruit of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” the apostle Paul gave us his own portrait of Jesus.

Together these qualities paint a picture of Christ’s character. And although no one person has ever exhibited these qualities in such balance or to such perfection as Jesus has done, the Spirit wants to grow fruit in us. The Spirit wants us to “put on the new self, which is being renewed … in the image of its Creator.”

The fruit of the Spirit doesn’t naturally occur in us. God alone is the source of the fruit; Christ alone perfectly embodies the fruit; and the Spirit alone develops and gathers the fruit in the hearts and lives of God’s people. This is how we show God’s love to the world!

Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful portrait of Jesus we see in the fruit of the Spirit. Grow your fruit in us so that our portraits may more closely resemble that of your Son. Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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