Who Is Jesus? A Deeper Look at His Character

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Over the last month, I have been attending a women's Bible study on the book of Hebrews. It's taught by an amazing professor at Taylor's seminary and it is an extremely in-depth study. So much so that it will most likely take us a year and a half to finish the book (which only has 13 chapters)! When I first heard that it was going to take us more than a year to finish, I wondered if I might get bored. But I discovered very quickly that I wouldn't need to worry about that.

One of the themes we've discussed so far is Jesus' character and whether he is more like a lion or a lamb (a reference found in Revelation 5:5-6, but was brought up during our study of Hebrews). Growing up in a Christian home, I knew that the right answer was that Jesus is both lion and lamb. I've known that since I was young. But the downside to always "knowing it", is that sometimes you don't really stop and contemplate what that really means.

When talking about Jesus' character, it's important to learn as much as we can, which means taking a deeper look at both his lion-like and lamb-like qualities. And that's what I would like to explore with you today.

Today at The Peculiar Treasure, we are taking a closer look at the character of Jesus and gain a deeper understanding of who he is.

He Gives Mercy 

In Mark 6:34, Jesus sees a crowd from far away and sees that they are wandering aimlessly. It would have been easy for him to decide that he was too tired to deal with them, or maybe that he would rather have a bubble bath for a self-care night. But Jesus didn't retreat and he didn't opt for "me time". He went to the people, seeing they needed some help, and he "had compassion on them".

Jesus is the forgiver of sins. He gives us grace when we don't deserve it, and covers for us even when we fail over and over again. He sees how lost we are. He sees how confused we get. He sees how often we stumble. He understands our weakness and loves us anyway.

He Judges 

2 Corinthians 5:10 says that all of us will one day stand before the judgement seat of Jesus to give an account of our lives. Jesus is merciful, yes, but he also hates sin. He cannot coexist with sin. And he understands the entirety of how bad sin actually is, when we only understand pieces of it.

Jesus always loves us- so much so that he will not just shrug his shoulders and leave us the way we are, because he knows that sin is not a good place to call home. He offers his gift of salvation in mercy, but those who do not receive it will be judged by the same Jesus who loves them fiercely.

He is Fierce (He is Not Safe)

There is a quote from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) where Susan asks whether or not Aslan the Lion is safe. And Mr. Beaver's response is as follows:

Safe? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.

This quote really strikes me every time I hear it because it is so true of God. Though we are safe in God's arms, God himself is not safe (read: "tame"). God is the King of the universe. He isn't timid. He doesn't "wait his turn". He isn't politically correct. And he doesn't wait for permission to work in the world. Following him means that there is always a grand adventure ahead of us, and that things may get topsy-turvy while we are alive on this earth, but he is always, always good!

For more on Jesus' fierce side, see Matthew 21 and pay particular attention to verses 12-13.

He is Gentle

Despite the fact that Jesus is fierce, he doesn't use it against us. Instead, he is gentle with us when we need it most, just as he is a disciplinarian when we need it most.

The bible says that Jesus' calling on our lives is not a heavy burden, but rather that he is gentle and that his burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). This doesn't mean that it's easy to follow God, but rather following God isn't harsh, burdensome, or heavy.

Jesus is gentle in that he puts other's first (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), is humble (John 13:12-15), and does what is necessary to help us (Matthew 14:13-21).

He is Blunt 

John 4:4-26 recounts Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. In those days, a typical Jew and a typical Samaritan would not speak to each other. In fact, Jews would go out of their way (and on a much longer journey than necessary) just to avoid speaking with Samaritans. But Jesus didn't do what your typical person would do. Instead, he went straight to the well and not only talked to a Samaritan, but talked to a Samaritan woman who had been married five times, which made her a complete outcast in her community.

Jesus, however, showed her great kindness by speaking to her with gentleness, humility, and with genuine interest in what she had to say. And then, Jesus also called out her sin in looking for fulfillment in the husbands she had had over the years. He wasn't rude or crude. He didn't call her names or tell her she was horrible. But he did truthfully and bluntly call out her sin.

We don't like being called out. People who are blunt rub us the wrong way. And sometimes that's because of they way they do it, but if we are honest, it's often just because we don't like being confronted with our own sins. But friends, Jesus is the ultimate sin-confronter. He is that way because 1.) he is holy, and 2.) because he loves us. And if we truly want to experience the character of Jesus, we cannot leave that part out.

So Much More

There are so many other character traits that we can attribute to Jesus, but honestly, if I were to try to capture all of them in one blog post (or 20), we would be here for daysssss. So for now, this is my list. It is not all-encompassing, and it is a humble, feeble attempt on my part, but hopefully you will find it helpful nonetheless.

My hope is to grow in my understanding of Jesus' character and share that with you. We are on this journey together. Let's grow in God together!

Though we will never fully understand everything about the character of Jesus while we are on earth, there is a lot that we can learn from the Bible. So today, we are diving in and learning more about the Character of Jesus. and deepening our knowledge of him.

No comments