Unlike the other religious people of Jesus’ day, he lived up close and personal with people. He associated with those who respectable pious people would usually shun, and it eventually got him killed.
Jesus came near
He got into the trenches – he got his hands dirty.
He walked and talked with people.
He wasn’t afraid of being a part of their lives.
He placed infinite worth on every human being.
“The common people heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37)
He saw everyone as worthy.
He was merciful and deliberately went to places where mercy was needed – and provided it.
Jesus was the life of the party
He wasn’t a party pooper. He turned water into wine when the wine ran out.
He accepted an invitation to Matthew’s party even though there were undesirables present.
Jesus was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard, but he was neither.
He was holy and blameless.
He faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.
He mixed with the people of the world but didn’t compromise with the world.
Jesus was an unexpected God
He didn’t fit into a stereotypical religious box.
Jesus looked for ways to free people from rules and bondage.
His yoke was easy and his burden light.
He lived and taught the law of love – love of God and love of neighbour.
He humanised the poor and demonstrated God’s incredible concern for their well-being and, in doing so, decried those who ignored or dominated them.
He spoke directly to women, something men would not usually do.
The gospels show Jesus speaking to women, and doing so with tenderness and kindness.
His ministry was largely supported by the financial offerings of women.
It was to women that He made his first post-resurrection appearances.
Jesus came close
Not only did he heal lepers, he also touched them – the most unclean people in Jesus’ society.
He used children as an example of what the Kingdom of God is like.
He spoke to, loved, and healed his racial enemies like the Samaritans.
He even spoke of a Samaritan as being “good.”
Jesus taught everyone is included
He helped Israel’s oppressors. Centurions and tax collectors were not exempt from Jesus’ kindness and attention.
He even called a tax collector to be a disciple and write the first gospel.
He taught us to love our enemies and revealed what this looked like.
In the words of the apostle Paul, even though “he had equal status with God he didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion” (Philippians 2:5-8 MSG).
Jesus is God in human form
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood” (John 1:14)
He lived, worked, and ministered amongst people ~ and he still does.
Jesus has a body on earth – the Body of Christ.
It’s you and it’s me, reflecting his nature wherever we are.