Imagine being asked write about the most famous person in the history of the world. A man who was so incredible that every year over 1,500 books a year are written about him, according to Phillip Yancey. That is surreal. Yet, he is so well known, we can think we know him when we really don’t know him that well.
I know that has often been true of me. So part of what is so remarkably hard about learning more about Jesus is that is so easy for us to think, “Oh yah, I already know Jesus. I get that he came to die for my sins. Yah, that’s great. I’m really thankful for that, when I think about it.” Implicitly, it is so easy for us just to fall into the trap of just “checking the salvation box,” and getting on with our lives. Not realizing the amazing treasures, adventures, and real possibilities of moving beyond our self-absorbed, comfort-addicted lives IF we got to know him a ton better, and yes, became a lot like him. Yep, I just wrote that.
What I hope to do in this blog post is to begin to reawaken or deepen your sense for how incredible Jesus was, and is. That, as you get to know him better, you will see how incredibly unique he is, and how remarkably qualified he is to serve as THE GUIDE for helping you help others flourish (which I hope is part of what you want for your life). Of course, there are countless other things that could be mentioned or gone into deeper, but that would take us beyond what I have room for here. I do pray you will be led to good sources to learn more and more about the person who really is the most interesting man in the world.
So, to get this started in a bit of a provocative way, please consider this: What would you think if you actually met a man who was an uncanny doctor, unparalleled fishing guide, amazing magician, shame and sin dissolver, masterful carpenter, brilliant philosopher, fearless speaker, breathtakingly gracious, beautifully tender with little kids, incredible gentlemen, self-taught theologian, connected deeply with people, and a true heroes hero. A man who also happened to live a perfect life, and ultimately willingly gave up his life for us as a perfect sin offering…rescuing countless millions from ravaged, bankrupt lives, giving their lives meaning, purpose and a shot at flourishing? And oh, by the way, when he comes back in his glory, will make the Terminator look like Pee Wee Herman. What would you think? That couldn’t be real, right? Or, if people thought it was real, they were just foolish or naive, or maybe just simple-minded. There couldn’t really be a man like that, could there? Well, based on countless numbers of people giving up their lives for their belief in him, and based on extensive reading and my own personal experience, I would argue yes, there is a man like that. And I can’t wait to meet him face to face.
Jesus, A Man Unlike Any Other
I hope the previous paragraph piqued your curiosity a bit, and helped you see I have no interest in writing about a tame, pale, or nice Jesus who just “wants everyone to get along.” That is boring and completely over-rated. Besides the fact is it would be a complete misrepresentation of Jesus. In future posts, we are going to be looking at a man for whom there is really no category. We will pay particular attention to how you can be more like him, enabling you to have a much greater shot at making a lasting, meaningful impact with your life.
What Jesus was Not Like.
But first, it may be fun though to take a quick look at what Jesus was not like. Based on reading the Gospels, and the rest of the Word, it seems very clear that Jesus was not narcissistic, or in that vein, self-absorbed or lost in himself or his hobbies. I’m confident he never fell in to the nasty habit of turning conversations back towards himself and his accomplishments. I’m confident he never gave in to the temptation to lapse into major depression or fatalism, even as he surveyed the level of sin and corruption in the world…especially from the religious leaders of his own people.
And, my goodness, if there was any ever anyone who would face a real temptation to use his gifts and abilities for his own glory, fame, power or influence with “the women,” he would have to be at the top of the list. Or, if there was anyone who could readily put his enemies in a world of hurt, making Darth Vader look like a poser, it would be him. The amazing thing is that according to the Bible, Jesus never fell for any temptation. Never. Ever. Amazing. In other words, in many ways Jesus, is dramatically different from us.
What’s the Point?
For now, I simply want to encourage you to revisit how you think about Jesus. How many tiny boxes have you put him in? What boxes need to be re-opened, so the real Jesus can come out and invite you into a much richer life? Please take a few moments for that.
May you be open to his Spirit’s prompting, and let him be a lot more amazing in your story. Have fun!