Super Bowl, Jesus Christ and “He Gets Us” Campaign: God or Inspirational Leader?

John 10:33 “The Jews marveled, saying… ‘You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

The motivation behind the “He Gets Us” campaign ads that aired during the Super Bowl appeared to be to draw seekers to Jesus Christ. The question is: how effective were they?

The Christian website ‘GotQuestions’ gave their view: “Each ad connects a cultural theme to Christ’s experiences: family strife, persecution, misunderstanding, poverty, and loneliness. Other topics included tolerance, single motherhood, and religious hypocrisy. The ads connect seekers to churches and discussion groups. Nothing in the campaign appears to be explicitly unbiblical, though there are concerns.”

While Jesus’ style of evangelism was very relational, He always pointed to formal doctrine (He as God incarnate, His atoning sacrifice as the only cure for sin, He as the only way to eternal life, His physical resurrection from the dead). The “He Gets Us” website does call Jesus the Son of God and does affirm His death and resurrection. But it also connects seekers to churches without explicit doctrinal criteria for those churches. Concern #1: the campaign may point seekers away from essential Christian doctrines.

Concern #2: ‘GotQuestions’ also notes that “Some of the ads are questionable in accuracy. For example, the topic ‘Jesus was a refugee’ equates Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to 21st century refugees fleeing war and poverty. ‘He Gets Us’ walks on the knife edge of doing exactly what they claim to counter: repurposing Jesus’ story to support certain political narratives, while playing fast and loose with Scripture.

Other topics on the site seem equally prone to misinterpretation. ‘Jesus invited everyone to sit at His table’ in the sense of being open and forgiving, yet He also confronted people with hard truths about sin and salvation (John 3:16-18, 36). If “He Gets Us” were to clearly connect those topics to biblical resources and counsel, the initial vagueness would not raise skepticism about both intent and effectiveness.”

Concern #3: Jesus as the One who “gets us” gives an inspirational and emotional connection for those seeking God but leaves out the crucial part of Jesus as God and Savior. Those inspired by His life story (as we all are) but uninformed of His true nature as God will be lead further away from essential doctrines rather than toward them. In this week’s verse, we want to focus on this essential doctrine: Jesus is God.

In his ‘Primer on the Deity of Christ’, Dr. John H. Gerstner explains the Deity of Jesus Christ: “In John 10:30 (“I and My Father are one”), Jesus points to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. We have here the oneness of God or ‘monotheism.’ At the same time, we see that Christ is distinct from the Father. The Son and the Father are one in the same divine essence.

Jesus carries on a dialogue with certain ‘Jews who believed on Him.’ But before the chapter is over, those Jews who believed in Him are seen not to believe in Him. When Christ claimed to be God, these professed believers realized they did not in fact believe in Him. They believed in the person they thought Jesus was.

When they learned who Jesus claimed to be, they were outraged at Him. It was during the dialogue with these ‘believing’ Jews that Jesus indicated that He came from the Father and indeed was one with the Father. These ‘disciples’ were getting the message and not liking it.

The more these ‘believers’ hear His claim to deity, the more they become outraged because Jesus was a human being, and it is blasphemy for a human being to claim to be God. They picked up stones to kill Him because, as they said, ‘You being a man make yourself to be God’ (John 10:33).

Here are different reactions to the same claims of Jesus that He was indeed God incarnate. When Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), He was speaking to His believing disciples who accepted it. But this statement was made to professed believers who really did not believe.

Here we have the testimonies of believers and unbelievers to Christ’s self-opinion. Both groups are confronted with the same Christ. One group accepts Him as God and worships. The other group rejects Him as a blasphemer and tries to execute Him.”

Gerstner’s point: when confronted with His Deity, you cannot remain on the sidelines. You must decide. Pointing people to Christ in ways they might not have considered, as the ‘He Gets Us’ ads do, is a good thing. But we should pray the ads inspire conversations about the true, accurate Jesus of Scripture.
“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance” _ Article #541

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