What Was Jesus Really Like?

Delve into Scripture and get to know Jesus.

By Elizabeth Peale Allen, Pawling, New York

What comes to mind when you think about Jesus? Someone serious and religious, going about healing the sick and preaching to the lost? A perfect human being, one who never spoke a harsh word or entertained a discouraging thought? Is it hard for you to picture him laughing…or crying?

The Gospels are silent about much of Christ’s early life. There is no indication in them that, for the first 30 years of his life, Jesus was any different from any other human being–except that at age 12, he had a deep grasp of the things of God. “They (his parents) found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers…. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:46-47).

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But in order to be part of this session, Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parent’s knowledge, something most 12-year-old boys would consider an adventure. Still, Jesus went home with them and remained obedient, becoming a carpenter like Joseph.  And far from always appearing calm and cool, sometimes Jesus expressed anger. “He looked around at them in anger…deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts” (Mark 3:5).

Many times he was kind and compassionate. “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). He knew what it was to face grief. When he stood at the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33). As he prayed on the Mount of Olives, he was in such agony that his sweat poured out like blood (Luke 22:44).

Jesus knows from his own experience what every human emotion is like–from facing horrendous problems and temptations, to being elated, angry, troubled, depressed, misunderstood, betrayed and deserted. Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

Jesus was fully divine and fully human. He knows exactly how you feel and will help you with every need and problem.

Why not invite the real Jesus into your life today?

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