Images of Jesus
August 02 05
We've all heard about the numerous sightings of the Virgin Mary seen in various places all over the world. She is seen in grilled cheese sandwiches; sometimes a statue "comes to life;" other times she is seen in fogged windows. Wherever she is seen, people the world over flock to get a glimpse. There are millions of lost people in this world who are deceived by idols and images.
But although we see many Mary images, we have heard of relatively few Jesus sightings. Oh, there are plenty of people, mostly schizophrenics, who claim to be Jesus Christ; and there are many cult leaders who claim to be the reincarnation of Christ, if not Christ Himself. What we don't normally hear about are sightings of Jesus that resemble those of Mary. Until now.
A few years ago, in India, a Bangalore baker pulled a loaf of bread out of the oven and saw an image of the face of Jesus right there in the bread. The baker took the bread to a local church and before long 20,000 people, mainly Catholics, had flocked to see the hunk of dough now mounted in a glass case. This was even kosher bread -- chapati, a five-inch round unleavened bread. We can't say the same for Mary's grilled cheese sandwich.
Just in the last couple of months, things seem to be heating up. We've had three highly publicized Jesus sightings beginning in June. It seems that a water-stained hunk of plaster from an internet network engineer's bathroom looks like Jesus. The guy says he saw the image when he stepped out of his shower that fateful June morning. He cut the piece of plaster out of his ceiling, made a box, filled it with plaster, and let it dry. Then he sold it on eBay.
You may recall that back in the 1970s, ZZ Top did a song called "Jesus Just Left Chicago." Were they being prophetic? In July this year, East Chicago, Indiana, police had to turn off a streetlight that cast a Jesus shadow. A woman claimed to see the image of Jesus on the side of a tree. The image was only visible at night when the streetlight was on near the tree. So many people had flocked to see the image that residents feared for their safety, so police stepped in to turn off the light. No more Jesus in East Chicago.
Then, just last week, "Christians" began flocking to a Bosnian town to view an image of Jesus in a section of tree that was cut. The branch was cut off about a year ago, but now folks are saying they see Jesus' face where the branch used to be. Look for pieces of bark from the tree to show up on eBay.
In Matthew 24, Yeshua speaks of false prophets to come who will claim that they are the Christ. He warns us to not believe them. Yeshua is referring to the tribulation period, although we may understand that the rise of false prophets will begin before the tribulation. And, certainly, He was talking about actual people, not images in bread, trees, and bathroom ceilings. So, what about these false prophets? Do they claim to be the Christ? As I said earlier, some of them do, but we have discounted them as mentally ill. But what about those "prophets" we respect?
When Yeshua said that people would come claiming to be the Christ, we see that that word, "the Christ," means, "the anointed one." It seems that everywhere you turn in the prophetic circles today, someone is claiming to be specially anointed. Some are blatant enough to say, "I'm anointed. Follow me." Yeshua would say, "Do not follow that person."
In Matthew 24, Yeshua was warning His disciples not to follow after false prophets and the same is true today. But now, as we see the tribulation period fast approaching, we know that today's false prophets are here to deceive. When people open their hearts and minds to the false teachers and false prophets, they are actually opening up themselves to the ultimate deceivers: Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet, spoken of in The Revelation.
These false prophets are dangerous. They have many followers, many more than those images have. We see tens of thousands of people gathering around trees, hoping to catch a glimpse of Jesus' face, but we have millions of people gathering around people who claim to have a special anointing, or a word from God that you won't find in the Bible. Beware of the images that would open up your heart to the false, and be especially on guard against those people who would seek to gather a following.