Fast forward to the start of his ministry, his first encounter as recorded is with his cousin, John the Baptist. Now think, if John was his cousin, surely they must have spent hours playing with each other as both Mary and Elizabeth (John’s mother) would have shared experiences together as mothers with their child playing as boys do. John would have been his closest friend and possible confidant. They may have roled played as all children do and for boys; it would the savior (hero) who has to conquer evil (darkness). Jesus in his teen years would have inspired and supported his cousin John which led to him having the necessary boldness as the forerunner to Jesus. For both John and Jesus, they matured into their calling with each taking their place in the Father’s plan. Jesus was not only fulfilling what was written about him in the Torah but now was making history for the future generation of Christian followers. Jesus was a focused person with a mission and would not let sentimentality or distractions deter his place in God’s plans. Jesus had feelings. When hearing about his death, Jesus took the appropriate time to mourn this loss of John, his cousin and “best friend” - Matt. 14:12-13, “after hearing the news, Jesus departs to be alone”. Jesus also wept at the death of another friend, Lazarus and when stirred raises him up from death. Jesus accepted the responsibility of leadership not by position but by example. Jesus was more of a doer than a talker and by his actions wanted to earn the respect of those he asked to follow him. Jesus demonstrated that only by discipline can we hope to overcome satan. Jesus prepares himself like any worthy athlete through self-discipline and self-denial by conditioning his spirit and body - Matt. 3:16, “Jesus is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit” and Matt. 4:2, “Jesus fasted”. After this, Jesus puts satan in his place with the Word.
Jesus was a teacher. When possible and time presented the opportunity, he was pro-active to teach about God, our attitudes and thought process. Jesus did not blow his own horn. He was humble in his role in God’s plan, submissive even though he had the entire Heavenly realm at his disposal. Jesus knew his place but did not surrender his place just to appease and condone people’s wrong attitudes and weaknesses, just to have them like him. As all teachers know, Jesus was not fooled by lip service or token gestures, he only rejoiced in the proper actions of faith - Matt. 8:10, “Jesus was amazed at his faith”, telling the centurion who came to him for healing for his servant in verse 13, “let it be done as you have believed”. What is often missed during this exchange is Jesus also warns those with him (the jews) in verse 11 saying, “many will come and be seated at the feast, while others (the people of God) will be outside the Kingdom”.
Jesus was a leader. In his ministry, Jesus bought it “lock, stock and barrel” everything that God said he was, to do and to say. He did not entertain any mortal or earthly thesis of himself and his life. Jesus had an inner conviction about his purpose, who and whose he was. The four gospels tell us stories of Jesus healing and casting out evil wherever he went with no pre-arranged plan, seminar or conference. Jesus did not wait for a revival, He was the revival. Jesus lived his life, knowing the Holy Spirit would guide him. Jesus was mentally and spiritually carefree as well, he spiritually prepared for the day. Jesus took time every morning with the Father in prayer, not only to strengthen himself but also for guidance and instructions and wisdom in dealing with what laid ahead of him - Mk. 1:35 and Matt.26:39. He fortified his will with determination to accomplish his mission. Jesus controlled his attitude and actions and was not perturbed by the outcome. In other words, Jesus did not micromanage or control people or things. Jesus was an organizer. Jesus did not have short but long term thinking and goals to demonstrate, no man is an island. His goal was to leave a legacy, to empower others - Jn. 16:1-31. The bible records Jesus speaking and recruiting the twelve starting with Peter. He did this without miracles or a show of the supernatural. What is more interesting in this is there is little or no dialogue which causes the apostles to leave their livelihood and follow him. Jesus had a presence about him, that only comes from internal conviction and the anointing, which comes from spending time in the Word and with God. This must not be compared to charisma, which is an outward show and the previous an inward belief. In other words, charisma is by man’s efforts and the anointing by God’s spirit. On a side note, I believe Jesus spoke to others who ignored him, but he was not perturbed by this nor did he care. Jesus wanted leaders not followers, he wanted thinking not just compliance, he wanted men who took action rather than weighing and balancing the pros and cons, calculating the risk before deciding. He wanted responsible men. Jesus was building a team, to build an organization, to build a movement, to build a people. A people after the heart of God. Jesus knew what he needed to start, but trusted God to supply.
Jesus was a freedom fighter. He was not concerned about social norms or graces. He was confident in his own skin. Jesus was more concerned about freeing people from mental slavery than physical slavery. He knew the battle was spiritual and not physical. He was not concerned with how things looked but at every opportunity spoke about right and wrong thinking. Jesus was outspoken and unapologetic - Lk. 7:36-50, Jesus not only sits in a Pharisee’s home but also eats with him and when this Pharisee thinks himself above it all, Jesus rebukes him not in private but in front of all those present. We need to understand in those days, to be invited by a Pharisee (person with religious and political authority) would not only be an honor to the guest (man’s thinking), but also a show by the Pharisee, wanting to boast about his guest (because the guest had more attention than they had), would have allowed others to come, although not to be seated at the main table, but looking on. This is clear because that’s how the prostitute was able to enter the house with others and why no one stopped her (being unclean in their eyes). Jesus was authentic. What you saw and heard from him, wherever he went was the same especially with his outlook of what people should do - Matt. 5:37, “say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no, other than this is from the evil one”. His words were specific, but for all. Jesus was not a politician.
May 14, 2016.
Will the real Jesus please stand !
The first thing that is brought to mind about his life is that it was pre-ordained and Jesus had no choice in the matter. I don’t think Mary and Joseph sat Jesus down one day and told him, he was immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. I believe by revelation, he came to the knowledge of this. As a kid just before his twelveth birthday, he must have been getting itchy as to his life and what his purpose was, being prompted by the Holy Spirit. This is not far fetch to think, as with any child who may be a bit odd to their peers, his inner spirit convicts him he is different for a reason yet to be revealed. Jesus was not just the Savior of the world, he was a boy.
His life in those days would have been communal in a small village, sharing space, resources like the water well and time with other families. Jesus was a student of the Torah. He was able to command an audience at that young age when he first entered the temple - Lk. 2:47. Jesus was also independent and considered his role above all, even his parents. So much so, he lived without them for three days alone, probably furnished with food and housing at the temple they found him in. Today, some well meaning person may call him a rebel; disrespectful and downright rude, needing discipline and a firm hand before he ends up in prison or worst. Jesus was not intimidated by social norms of the elder knows best and questioned what was being taught. Jesus wanted knowledge and understanding. Jesus at an early age demonstrated he was opinionated - Lk. 2:49. It is interesting to note that after this first recorded history of Jesus revealing his true nature that the author’s next verses states, “and Jesus grew in wisdom and favor with God and man”. It says, “and man”. Jesus had the next nineteen years before starting his ministry, so this implies Jesus demonstrated righteousness in the things of God and those of men. Jesus actions matched his words, his word was his bond. Jesus had integrity.
If you are new or have been a Christian for a while and want to do more, eventually you get to a place asking who is Jesus really and why should we conform to his ways - 2 Corth. 3:18, “all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as (the examples) from the Lord and the Spirit”.
Most only know what is taught in Sunday school or in brief spurts in a Sunday service, and even then it only skim the surface of how real and deep, Jesus, the man was. Mostly, what we hear is Jesus was the Son of God, who became a man to save us and now sits at the right hand of the Father. We also hear of his compassion and love for all and many focus on these characteristics as the definition of Jesus. For three and a half years his ministry started and quickly stopped with many common stories among the four gospels. Now, don’t get me wrong by holy inspirations certain aspects of Jesus’ life had to be recorded and told by those closest to him. But, I can just imagine if Matthew, Mark, John, Luke, and Peter was here; they would have more to say about the person of Jesus while he walked the earth. Most, if not all were intimate with Jesus and spent their days hearing and observing him.
Jesus was not partial or bias and had integrity in everything he did. Jesus did not measure the cost but availed himself to the needs of others. Luke 8 tells the story that as Jesus came off the boat, Jarius asked for healing for his daughter, Jesus then headed towards his house. Jesus is then stopped by another healing with the woman and takes the time to give a lesson. One is dying and another took their healing. Why isn’t Jesus more in a hurry. Jesus isn’t motivated by fear. Jesus did not waste time with skeptics but only stated the truth. He did not entertain discussions for the sake of conversation. Jesus was consistent in how he applied healing and freeing those who were prossessed. Jesus was fearless in dispatching his enemy with words and actions. Jesus prepared for his ultimate sacrifice on the cross and yet in all this he was considerate to the fate of those who hated and loved him. Luke 23:34, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do” and John 19:26-27, Jesus brings John and his mother together as a family).
Jesus did not sin in his Father’s eyes. We often wonder about the verse, “and he knew no sin” - 2 Corth. 5:21, meaning that Jesus did not offend the Father but was obedient in all things he was required to do. It also means he was not subjected to sin (satan). This is because he abided in everything that was the Father’s (God) to give him including protection from evil - Ps. 91. Jesus was exact and consistent in all he did when it came to walking with God’s spirit indwelling in him. For satan (evil), whenever they were confronted by Jesus, they saw God embodied in him by the anointing and blessing. I believe whenever Jesus spoke physically; satan and his evil spirits heard the commanding audible voice of God. This is because life and death are in the spirit realm and satan, his evils ones operate in that spirit. Jesus was a giver. More than his works, Jesus gave us the final authority and control over our future by allowing us to become imitators of him not just in works but more so in spirit. Thus. when Christian’s truly take up their cross (call), we will be the leader, teacher, and servant, all in one, just as Jesus was, sending satan and evil in such turmoil and fear, so they no longer will have any influences over mankind.
Flush it Out! - Jesus, a man of all seasons.
Jesus was respectful. He kept God’s ways and did not change or reinvent them to suit the circumstances he was dealing with. Jesus did not compromise the Word. Just like all teachers (parents), Jesus was impatient and at times disappointed with those he poured into and at times gave stern looks, rebuking wrongful thinking and actions. He did this out of love, frustration and annoyance that they should know better. Matt. 15, Jesus engages the Pharisee with intolerance and harsh words saying, “you break God’s commandments because of tradition” calling them hypocrites. Peter experienced Jesus’ righteous indignation more than once. Matt. 16:23; Jesus rebukes Peter in front of others saying, “Get thee behind me satan”. Matt. 14:31, Jesus says to Peter, “you of little faith, why did you doubt (me)”. Luke 22:31, Jesus tells Peter, “you will deny me three times”. Peter basically had a big mouth, but his heart was true and yearned to please Jesus. After his resurrection, Jesus took the time to heal Peter of his guilt and anguish - John 21:15, by having him confess three times that he loves Jesus. Here is irony, even after all this. Peter still gets rebuked by the now resurrected Jesus because of his big mouth as shown in Jn. 21:21-22, Peter seeing John, says to Jesus, “what about him”. Jesus tells Peter, “mind your own business and YOU just follow me”. I can just see Jesus shaking his head and maybe thinking, “is this is rock who is to have the keys of heaven” - LOL. Jesus did not condemn the person but judged (evaluate) the actions.
Jesus was a servant (a priest). Jesus had a short time to inspire, lead and deliver people from spiritual oppression and the authority over them by satan. Although, he focused on empowering his apostles and disciples, his ultimate goal was to die for them and us. Every moment of his life, Jesus sacrificed in time, effort and his person with the knowledge and intent to bear our failings (sin) in death and resurrect our life. Jesus was a champion for all, even those who hated all he stood and lived for. As a servant and priest, Jesus took every opportunity to heal and relieve those who sought him out, demonstrating his deep love and compassion for them.
ChristnMe @ 2013