Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Jesus comes across as more fully human

Can you picture Mohammed providing wine for a wedding feast? No, neither can I. How many founders of world religions would pick up children and bless them, insisting that little children are worth his notice and his time? How many "great teachers" are remembered by their followers for how often they had dinner with friends, and were widely sought after not only for their wisdom but also for their companionship?

Jesus is the only person we reckon as a "great teacher" who makes a claim to be Son of God in a unique sense; so it may seem ironic that he comes across as the most fully human. Many religious people -- especially self-consciously religious people -- seem to have character distortions that make them come across as less fully human. The character distortions are not despite their religion -- it is specifically because of their type of religion that they become reclusive, or ascetic, or harsh, or judgmental, or aloof, or detached from those who love them, or consumed with abstractions, or cliquish, or controlling, or obsessive, or partisan, or cold, or continually concerned with particular religious observances. They may only be excessively bookish, to the extent that they neglect human fellowship. They may become meditative to the point where they not only lose the joy of life, but reject that joy as wrong. Their religiosity seems to take away from their humanity, not fulfill it. Jesus makes it plain that he wants his followers to have life, and have it to the full.

Jesus comes across as fully human: when we look at him, we notice what more we could be. Jesus' wisdom did not drive out his warmth, and came with a down-to-earth humility. His righteousness was the type that lifts up others rather than putting them down. He had a love for friends. We see him at a wedding feast celebrating with those who celebrate. In Jesus, we see what a human being can be. It is because of his deep humanity that so many people have longed to be transformed into his image and become more like him.


J.D. said...

Love this meditation. Reminds me of an excerpt from a book by Philip Schaff which Tim Challies posted recently:


When I read this, I almost cried, so thankful was I to be acquainted with such a perfect man. Who would not want to cling to him with all of their strength, and when that fails, to simply rest in his powerful arms?

Weekend Fisher said...

Hey J.D.

Good to see you. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

I enjoyed that article over at Challies. I wonder if I might add that blog to the list of blogs I read ...

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF