Have you ever wondered what Jesus was really like? This summer I read Donald Miller’s book “Searching for God Knows What.” Miller reminded me of the huge sacrifice that Jesus made simply by leaving Heaven in order to come to Earth. In Heaven, Jesus was in constant fellowship with God, the Father. He was surrounded by beings who loved Him as He sat in a place of honor. Why would He “exchange Heaven for a place and exchange eternity for time?” Can any of us really understand this?
When Miller thought about this question, his response was this: “If you believe Jesus was God, and He came to earth to walk among us, the first thing you start considering is that He might actually care. Why else would something so great become something so small?”
Let’s stop and think about who Jesus’ disciples were. Four of them were simple fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. One was a politician, and Paul was a Pharisee. The others were most likely tradesmen of some sort. They weren’t necessarily the most highly regarded of men. But Jesus demonstrated that He really liked them, not just loved them. Jesus mostly hung out with people who had been rejected by society. He ate dinner with the prostitutes and the tax collectors. He was drawn to the crippled, the blind, and the lepers. He held their hands, He hugged them, and He did it in front of everyone in their village that had rejected them. He accepted them as they were, and that is why they loved Him so much.
Miller wrote this in such a way that I can’t do it justice. Here is what Miller said:
“It must have been thrilling to look into the eyes of God and have Him look back and communicate that human beings, down to the individual, are of immense worth and beauty and worthy of intimacy with each other and the Godhead. Such an understanding fueled a lifetime of joy and emotional health among the disciples that neither crowds of people jeering insults nor prison nor torture nor exclusion could undo. They were faithful to the end, even to their own deaths.”
If I consider the disciples that followed Jesus, only one did not suffer a tortuous end. They were executed, beheaded, crucified upside down, burned to death, stoned, clubbed, and stabbed. Jesus must have loved them immensely, and they reciprocated that love. Why else would they have been willing to suffer such horrible deaths? No matter what type of torture they faced, they would not recant that Jesus was indeed God, the Messiah who had come to earth to save us. They had a personal relationship with God, and they would never give that away.
Now, I never met Jesus in person on this earth as the disciples did, but I know that God sent Jesus so that we all could have this same kind of relationship with Him. That is why God sent Jesus to this earth! To repair the relationship that man once had with Him. Wow! Now that is the real Jesus!
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.