This is the first in my series “Who is the Man?” Asking the question of who Jesus was. We can’t fully know who he is now, if we don’t understand who he was then.

He was a man. Duh! you say. Well, not so fast. Many of us grew up in a form of Christianity that highlighted Jesus’ deity and downplayed his humanity. We always said that “he was fully human” but I’m not sure we believed it.

When was the last time you heard about Jesus being tempted to lust? Or thought about Mary changing his diapers? Did it stink?

And when we think of a manly man – is the first one we think of, Jesus? It should be! He’s often portrayed as a feminine or uni-sex fair-skinned, flowing-haired, 1960’s hippy with very little personality and a soft melodic voice. Not to over-caricuture the “Wild at Heart” version of a “real man” but it’s way more likely that Jesus was a rugged stud. I doubt you’d want to wrestle him. Stone masons and carpenters (he was probably a bit of both) had to be strong. Iron man strong. Walking the length of his most common trek in ancient Palestine from Nazareth down to Capernaum and then back up and over to Jerusalem would be over 100 miles one way, and he did that often.

To endure what he endured leading up to the cross would have been brutal. He was strong!

But not just physical strength. Think of the intense emotional strength he often exhibited. Imagine constantly being grilled by over-zealous Pharisees, Sadducees and Teachers of the Law everywhere you went – like Jesus was. If I ever think I’m under undue scrutiny, imagine the life of Christ. It takes incredible emotional will-power to handle them the way he did.

And that’s what I’ll talk about next time…..