Jesus was a man. I’m well aware that most readers of this website will already get that… but I wonder how much his humanity really comes into our thinking. How significant is it to us that the One we follow and attest to being God was also a real human being who experienced every emotion?
Have you ever seen the old films about Jesus where he walks around with a sort of radioactive glow about him, talks down to everyone in super-spiritual sounding tones and always knows exactly what’s coming? And for some reason looks Swedish!? I’m sure the film-makers meant well with their efforts, but I’m not so sure this portrait is accurate… and I’m not so sure I’d want it to be.
It always amazes me how much the Jesus we often picture differs from the Jesus we read about in the gospels.
The Jesus I read about in my Bible is not ethereally above it all. He doesn’t glide. He walked on two feet in a pair of sandals and I’m therefore convinced he must have stubbed his toes at least once. He’s real. He knows hunger and thirst. He gets tired. More than once he wakes up early and heads for the hills to spend some time alone. He’s sometimes surprised at people’s answers, or when someone touches him and is healed. He likes to party. He hangs out with normal people. He weeps when his friend dies. And when he’s about to be arrested he doesn’t run, but he also doesn’t saunter through unmoved. Instead he sweats drops of blood, such is the stress he’s under. He asks his heavenly Dad if there is any other way, then says ‘but your will, not mine’. He admits that he is ‘overwhelmed with sorrow’. Jesus fully feels the fear… but still chooses to go through with the plan.
Don’t hear me wrong, I truly believe that Jesus was more than merely a man… but one of the core tenets of Christianity is that he was also fully human.
And for that I’m glad, because it means that when I pray in my moments of most anguish or exhaustion I’m talking to someone who knows exactly what this life is like. Jesus is a real person. I wouldn’t want a Saviour who wasn’t.