Stained glass windows are beautiful in the sunlight, but they don’t allow you to see much on the other side. The view is limited to the color and image the artist chose. In John chapter 5, there’s the record of on-going tension between the Jewish leaders and Jesus over His credibility. In their minds, Jesus didn’t fit the template. Like a stained glass window, a picture of the promised Messiah had been developed, but it was more of an artistic rendering than the real person. Jesus even presented powerful witnesses to His validity (John the Baptist v.32, the miracles v.36, God the Father v.37, the Holy Scripture v.39, and Moses v.46), but the “stained glass” was still their preference. It was a grand image of rescue, retribution, and kingdom glory; however, it was incorrect. He said they were looking in the scriptures, but only to support to their preconceived ideas:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” – John 5:39-40 NKJV
In the life of faith, there’s a nagging temptation to construct our own image of Jesus. We want to pull some color in from one passage and a story or two from another to create a picture along the lines of our preferences. However, the real question should be, “Is it scripturally accurate?” Jesus has many wonderful attributes and taught many things in His ministry. Today, may our lives let the true image shine through, and not one limited to “stained glass”.