A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Ryan mentioned how he – shall we say – “disliked” wimpy images of Jesus. I agree with him. Let’s take a look at the “manly” things that Jesus did, using some of the ways that “manliness” is defined today.
- Exercised – He probably walked a lot. Today, he could have earned more “26.2” stickers than you could plaster on a minivan.
- Built things with tools – Mark 6:3 identifies Jesus’ profession as a carpenter, which would make sense, taking up Joseph’s trade (see Matthew 13:55).
- Popular with others – He was invited to parties and dinners (see John 2:1-2, Luke 7:36, and Luke 11:37).
- Camped – He said that He had no place to lay his head (see Matthew 8:20). My guess is that he slept outside a lot, but probably without a tent or a camp stove.
- Sailed – He traveled by boat regularly (see Matthew 8:23).
If that’s enough to show you how Jesus would have qualified as a “manly man” by many of today’s standards – as external as they may be – consider how he modeled God’s intention for men in other ways:
- Spiritual Leader – Jesus was not afraid to talk openly about His faith, and helped others – both men and women – on their spiritual walks.
- Servant – Jesus genuinely helped people. Sure, He performed miracles to heal and feed people, but he also washed feet and took time to teach people who needed it. (See Matthew 9:36.)
- Provider – While the miracles of Jesus served to verify His statements and fulfill prophecy, think about how many of them met other people’s needs.
- Encourager – See Jesus’ teachings on “not worrying” in Matthew 6:25-34.
- Available – Jesus did take some time to rest and recharge, but He didn’t use that as excuse to be consistently distant from others. See Jesus’ prayer about His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, including John 17:11-12.
As we strive to be a “real man”, we would do well to emulate the perfect man, Jesus Christ. Whatever your Bible reading plan may be, see if you can work in some chapters from any of the gospels (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) this week, to learn more about our hero.
A version of this devotion originally appeared at fcccanton.com , as a Study Guide for the March 8, 2015 message, “The Role of the Man in a Family”.