Grant’s Rants on the Personality of Jesus
Much of [today’s so-called] Christian culture does not [reflect] the personality of Christ but rather of the people in charge of that particular franchise. Tragically, the world looks at funny hats or big hair, gold thrones and purple curtains, or stained glass and assumes this is what Jesus must be like.
Many so-called followers of Christ are probably the most effective tool … to turn people off to Jesus. The way they talk. The culture they create. But mostly, what they are like to be around.
Jesus was a very spiritual man, but never a religious one. One of the most striking aspects of the stories of Jesus told in the Gospels is how very few of the events related by the stories take place within a religious setting. The fact is, if you wanted an intimate encounter with Jesus, you would have been far more likely to find it outside the religious establishment. This is still true today.
Think of the crowd Jesus dined with. These rabble-rousers quickly earned Jesus a reputation as a drunkard and a glutton, and it wasn’t because they served water and crackers. This was a wild group, and surely such a crowd got rolling in laughter from time to time, if only from the joy they were experiencing being with Jesus.
In the process of living his life, Jesus established a whole new way of relating to God. Think about how casual and human he was. He stopped along the road to chat; he often reclined at meals with people; he touched them, embraced them. He called them by name, and they him. He was a man with a very distinct, remarkable personality—playful, cunning, fierce, impatient with all that is reli¬gious, kind, creative, irreverent, and funny.
“Jesus was so obviously human” notes Bible scholar Eugene Peterson, “but this has never been an easy truth for people to swallow… human ordinariness, bodily fluids, raw emotions of anger and disgust, fatigue and loneliness.”
The Bible also says that Jesus could read men’s hearts. What would it be like to have someone in your life who knows you intimately and is willing to be completely honest with you? Oh, yes, and who loves you regardless!
And Jesus hasn’t changed one bit. He is still quite himself. This is still how he acts. The Scriptures assure us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
[Excerpts from “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldredge]