I want to focus today on Jesus’ humanity, not his divinity. He was somehow both fully God and fully man at the same time. People have tried to explain how this is possible and have invented large Greek and Latin words to do so. None of it makes sense to me, and that’s okay. It never will. It’s a mystery. It’s a paradox. It’s why we believe because of faith, and not because everything makes perfect sense and we are able to explain everything away.
Many times we fail to see Jesus as a true human being. We see him as God and though we talk about His human-ness, we still tend to think of him as a super-human, or that he was one of us, but had special powers so he’s really not like us. He’s kind of in His own category. I just got done reading a book by Hugh Halter called “Flesh.” It’s a fabulous book that talks about what it means to live and be human like Jesus. It helps people understand that Jesus didn’t just come to die on a cross to save us from our sins, but to teach us how to be fully human.
I’ll let Hugh’s words take it from here. “Jesus came to show you how to live fully human in the way that He did and in a way that you will truly love. But for you to get this, you have to let Jesus be truly human too.
Can you picture Jesus smashing His finger, biting His lip, dropping to one knee, and wincing in painful laughter? Can you see Him waking up in the morning, heading to the facilities (likely an olive tree), and looking around to make sure no was watching? Can you imagine Jesus with gas after a bad meal of hummus and sardines? Reflect on Him freezing cold, huddling next to His brothers or mother to try to stay warm. It’s easy to picture Him as a baby, but what about as an awkward teenager with raging hormones? What about a twenty-eight-year-old virgin who was maybe one of the last single men in His small village? Can you see Him working long days with His father, going home exhausted, falling asleep, and then waking with a sore neck and swollen fingers?
If you see Him only as God, you may worship Him or study Him, but you will miss the joy of emulating Him.
Jesus was born; He messed His pants; He grew up, hit puberty, got sick, puked, got tired, woke up disoriented, sneezed, scratched his armpits; and yes, Jesus pooped. He got hungry and thirsty and hurt Himself while playing and working. As he grew, He was curious about life and spiritual matters and was always questions. His voice, body, and personality all changed. We know that during His ministry, He got sad, angry, frustrated, and fearful. He laughed, He cried, He fought temptation of every kind, and He experienced physical death. In His birth, He was vulnerable. In His boyhood, He was playful and inquisitive. And as a full-grown manly man, He was the guy next door, a real rustic hombre. He gets the awkwardness of not living like God, so we can relax, put away our goofy attempts to be more godly, and reconsider being truly human.”
Why do I bring this up today?
Because far too many of us think we need to be more godly. To be godly means to be perfect. You will never, ever achieve this despite what anyone tells you. You are setting yourself up for failure. And I don’t like losing!
We can be more like Jesus. And the picture of Jesus that you ought to have is more than just someone who came and died on a cross, but someone who lived a life to show us how we ought to live ours. “Your picture of Jesus should start with Him working a job, partying with the locals, opening up everyone’s homes, and busting through religious and social barriers. He fought for things people cared about and was the most holy but least judgmental person the world has ever seen. He was known as a friend of sinners. His life is a model for how we can live now.”
God doesn’t need you to be God. He needs you to be the best version of a human that you can be. And the best version of a human that you can be is to be like Jesus when He was a human being on Earth.
I’m not saying we should go out and intentionally sin because we’ll never be perfect. I’m saying we ought to look to Jesus and spend time with Him to discover what sort of person we need to be in this world. And the more we hang out with Jesus, the more we become like Him. And the more we become like Him, the more others notice and want what we have.
Go be like Jesus.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you see Jesus today?