Sometimes we forget just how insane God’s love toward us is. Or maybe we don’t forget; maybe we just don’t want to deal with the brain-exploding truth that we’d have to deal with if we thought about it. Jesus is fully God. And he is fully man.
It’s so easy to think of him as one extreme or the other. Jesus is God: obviously. He’s so great and wonderful, out there in the distant space, being God. It’s easy to imagine him being perfect, never lashing out in sin or in pride or in fear. Of course he didn’t; He’s God.
Or — Jesus is man. Warm fuzzies all around. Hey, he was a man, just a really great guy. He bled and died; sure. That’s the point of the story we focus on, right? He died, so he must have been human. Not so much now, we think — ’cause nobody come back human.
But that’s just thing. As John Eldredge illustrates in his book Beautiful Outlaw, Jesus is God. And he is Man. That makes everything he did, is doing, and will do, so amazing. He physically got tired. He had emotions, and he had to deal with them. He had friends, and some were better friends to him than others. He got incensed about things, and did something about it. He came face to face with situations he didn’t want to deal with — especially the situation of the cross — where he said, “I don’t want to do this.” So when he says, “there’s not anything you could face that I haven’t dealt with,” he’s not joking, or talking in some lofty God-above-it-all way. He’s really been there.
Beautiful Outlaw goes into detail about the personality of Jesus. John’s goal is for us to see him as he really is, so we know him, and so we can love him. You can’t love what you don’t know. You may think you know — I certainly get in that habit. But when was the last time you stopped and seriously thought about who Jesus is? Not just what he did, or expansive worship terms to describe him, but who he really is? When we think of and talk about Jesus, the words that come up usually don’t not include human. But are we not missing an essential part of who he is if we skip that part? And then we wonder we feel so incomplete ourselves; we were created in the image of someone, and we keep ignoring the part of him that most closely links him with us. How do we define a relationship with someone without the integral facet of that relationship?
No more, says John. now we can who we were meant to be; human, without all the trappings and bondage that sin wraps around us. Jesus was (and still is) humanity untouched by sin. When we realize that we can have the hope, through him, of being our best humanity untouched by sin as well..
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I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.