This past Wednesday we began a study on “The Man Called Jesus.” The study will call us to spend Wednesday night’s through the winter months looking at passages that give us a better picture of the humanity and the human experience of Jesus. It is amazing how difficult it was for the church to come to terms with the full divinity and the full humanity of Jesus. I think we are more comfortable with the picture of the divine Jesus than we are the human Jesus. We like the grand healing stories and the images of Jesus preaching to the grand crowds. We like the pictures that display Jesus’ power and authority. But it seems we are we pause when we read passages that point us toward the very human moments of the Jesus story. You can almost feel us twinge when we see Jesus tempted, tired, frustrated, or angry. We are glad to talk about Jesus as Son of God, but struggle when we read the words “Son of Man.”
I think one of the reasons we are less comfortable talking about the humanity of Jesus is that we not want to do anything that questions the divinity of Jesus. We witnessed the strong reaction of the church the movie based on Brown’s Da Vinci Code. While the book and movie went way to far, it seems that some are not even willing to talk about any of Jesus’ relationships beyond the disciples in fear. They fear that they will see something or say something that could be perceived as wrong or heretical. They fear they might have to deal with questions bigger than their bumper sticker faith. They fear that their faith may be stretched beyond the bounds of their comfort zones. They fear. Others are happier to focus on the divinity of Jesus because it lets them off the hook. If they can find a way to leave Jesus as fully divine and leave his humanity in the shadows, then they/we are not accountable to try to follow as Jesus followed and live as Jesus lived. But, in their/our fear to deal with the humanity of Jesus we are cheated from seeing the fuller picture of the one we call Savior and Lord. There is much to be learned from the Jesus who walked the dirt paths that we walk and faced the life issues that we face. I celebrate the divinity of Jesus who is the incarnation of the God who loved us so much that he would come and pitch his tent amongst us. I also celebrate that Jesus claimed a humanity that let us relate to him; a humanity that would show us the way to live lives of faith; a humanity that lets him understand us and redeem us.
I want to know the whole picture of Jesus. How about you? Come join me.
Grace and Peace, Tom