What does Jesus look like? Phillip Yancey struck a cord with me in his book The Jesus I Never Knew. In it he noted how people hang different portraits of Jesus in the gallery of their minds. The Cuban government, for example, distributed a painting of Jesus with a carbine slung over his shoulder. Norm Evans, ex-football player for the Miami Dolphins, pictured Jesus as “a six-foot-five inch 260-pound defensive tackle who would always make the big plays.” Fritz Peterson, former New York Yankee, imagined Jesus wearing a baseball uniform, sliding hard into second base to break up the double play.” Yancey used to picture Jesus as a Star Trek Vulcan: calm, cool, collected as he strode robot-like among excitable human beings.
Who has the correct picture? None of them, and all of them! We know Jesus didn’t carry a rifle, throw a football, hit a baseball, or take a trip on the USS Enterprise. For that matter he never worked as an attorney, collected garbage, married, or served Uncle Sam. To picture him in such ways is to frame a poor reproduction. What each of these painters does, however, is to recognize a significant truth: Jesus entered our world. He took on flesh and blood; he became like us. Matthew sums it up this way:
All of this happened to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).” (Matthew 1:22-23 NLT)
In order for God to be with us, God had to become like us.
- Have you ever felt hunger pains? So has Jesus!
- Have you ever sensed a lack of sympathy? So has Jesus!
- Have you been tired and worn out? So has Jesus!
- Have you been in anguish? So has Jesus!
- Have you ever been angry? So has Jesus!
- Have you ever grieved a loss? So has Jesus!
- Have you ever had a sleepless night? So has Jesus!
- Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel? So has Jesus!
- Have you ever wrestled with temptation? So has Jesus!
Jesus is God in human form. In his humanity he is just like you, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Christmas is a wonderful time to hang a fresh portrait of Jesus – a Savior who can sympathize with us because he became like us. Knowing he handled every facet of life without sin I can trust him to help me in my time of need.
FOCAL POINT: Place a framed picture where you can see it. When you look at it, remember Jesus who became like you so he could help you. Thank him. Seek him.
Copyright © 2009 Tommy Kiedis