How would you answer ?
Humbly, I am not sure I am the one to determine what the biggest misconception may be, but let me offer this thought. I wonder if a key misconception that unbelievers have about Jesus is that he is dead!
It is much easier to disregard someone if they are not around. If unbelievers only see Jesus as some man back in history who died on a cross, and not as the one who rose again to life to take his place in glory, then it makes sense that they will disregard Jesus. If you think someone is dead, then their impact is only going to be at best by influence, certainly not by obedience or devotion.
1 Peter praises God because in mercy he has given Christians new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). It is a new birth with benefits! An inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for those in faith, that is, those who love and believe in Jesus (1 Peter 1:4, 8).
The key reason why Christians can have hope in heaven and a hope for our future is because Jesus is alive. It is in his resurrection that we also live.
But let me ask another slightly different question.
‘What do you think is the biggest misconception that Christians have about Jesus?’
I am sure it is not that he is dead! A key distinction between the unbeliever and believer is that the believer holds to the living hope of Jesus. But given this is a key distinction, why is that often not more obvious?
I wonder if a key misconception that Christians have about Jesus, is that to be Christian we do not need to look that different to the rest of the world!
1 Peter addresses that issue as well.
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. (1 Peter 1:14-15)
Be Holy. Prepare your minds for action, be self-controlled – live counter-culturally to the world around us. Yes be a good person, the world wants you to be that – but don’t stop there! Be holy, because Christ without blemish or defect chose you – and so we can, in fact we must, live as one who obeys the truth.
The living one we serve is not the dead man our world thinks they know!
Let’s live obediently rather than die in compromise.
A lot of unbelievers (probably most) would not believe the miracles of the bible did actually happen – Jesus rising from the dead, walking on water healing blind/ lame people etc “its all rubbish”
And to be fair, miracles don’t just happen. That I guess is why they are classed miracles. What I think is interesting in relation to Jesus is that there were so many. At some point, you gotta think, maybe this guy is the real deal!
A possible misconception in Christ, could be: a focus on truth and repentance for our community of believers distracts us from the full potential we can be in our own strength in achieving our goals (idols).
Another, Why do we identify with sin and serving, when we can judge and punish?
Yes that is a very humanist agenda – to think that maximum human fulfillment is the goal of life means that we as a society are limited to the extend of our achievements and ignores the wonderful blessing of all that Christ has achieved for his people.
Gav, not sure I get what you mean when you suggest a secular mis-question of ‘Why do we identify with sin and serving, when we can judge and punish?’
What is truth anyway, it’s only our perception and we don’t want any do-gooder showing up our sin to ourselves. Is this their misconception or Christ’s truth?
Another misconception? Yes, no one likes being told that they are in error. So, if I determine what is truth, then I can quite easily do what I please. That is the basis of the post-modern agenda. Problem – what if God has established a truth which he holds all accountable too? Oh that’s right, he does. And for the benefit of those who abide his truth.