What do you think a “real man” is? Is it someone who is strong, courageous, willing and able? Does he show no emotion and simply “keep calm and carry on”? When and where did we get the idea that real men don’t cry? Surely if we are working to be made in Jesus’ likeness, we should be getting our example of a real man from Him? Step aside, Chuck Norris…
A chameleon is a fascinating creature. It changes its shade and dapples its colours to suit its surrounding. The trouble is that you are never quite sure what you are looking at. People can be like that too. In one setting they behave a certain way and in another, they are completely different. Some call it being “two-faced”; others call it “adaptive” but ultimately it’s unsettling. You want to know when you meet someone for the second time that they will be the same person they were the first time you met them, with the same standards, the same morals, the same opinions.
The only time people were unsure of Jesus being Jesus was at His resurrection! (And let’s be honest – if you saw someone after they had died you would be a little uncertain too!)
Jesus walked this earth with humility, compassion, strength and conviction. When He performed miracles He did not do it for fame or fortune (instead He asked them to be discreet: Mark 1:43-44) Jesus fulfilled the Word of God, never boasting about His status, but being clear about who He was, the Son of God.
Let’s get one thing clear – Jesus was all human. He displayed physical symptoms that all humans experience: fatigue, sleep, suffering. He also experienced many human emotions like anger, indignation, grief and joy. And He bled. Yet despite His humanity, He managed to rise above all the traits that we fall prey to – jealousy and temptation being two of them.
Given His status, it would be logical to think that Jesus could have chosen who He spoke to. He could have deemed Himself as too important to speak to lowly people or unsavoury characters and yet that is where He chose to spend much of His time. He treated all people with the same love, compassion and kindness – regardless of their station in life. Even today, He speaks to us all, loves us all and listens to us all. When He died, He died for us all. The Jesus who walked this earth 2000 years ago is the same Jesus we engage with now. He sits at the right hand of God and loves us equally. Jesus showed us, in His time on earth, that as humans we are capable of being better people by His own example. Admittedly He set very high standards for us and we will always stumble, but if you don’t set your sights in line with Him you will surely miss the mark, so ask yourself, “Who else would I rather follow?”.
When you are spending time in God’s presence, are you the same person that you are when you are around your colleagues/friends/family? That little litmus will tell you how much of a chameleon you are. God knows your true heart. By Jesus’ example, we need to be real.
He weeps for us in our moments of sadness, comforts us in our dark times and provides us with strength in moments when our own courage fails us.
Now that’s a real man.