Rev. Margie Crawford asks us to look at the humanity of Jesus to understand better his mission to save and transform us.
Superintendent, Midwest District
Over the past several weeks, I have watched an advertising campaign about Jesus. It comes from an initiative called He Gets Us. The creators state the following on their website: “He Gets Us is a movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness.” The information on the website encourages visitors to examine the experiences of our Savior’s life and how they still have relevance for us today.
The two stories shared in the commercials I saw remind me of how wondrously amazing Jesus’ time on earth was. One informs us that he was a refugee, and the other is about those with whom he broke bread. I look forward to other ads sharing some of Jesus’ life experiences.
We are still in the season of Epiphany, which began on January 6 with the celebration of the magi visiting the child Jesus and honoring him with gifts. This story comes from Matthew 2 and is one of my favorites. I never tire of retelling the journey of the magi who traveled far from their homes to meet the King of kings. I wonder if he looked different from other children. Unfortunately, the Gospels do not describe Jesus’ appearance at his birth, as a young child, or even when he spoke in the temple when he was twelve.
And yet, somehow, all who saw him and heard him recognized that he was different from anyone they had ever met. His royal status as the King of kings and Lord of lords should’ve had him being raised in a palace, waited on by servants, never worrying about what clothes he would wear, what foods he would eat, and how others would respect and honor him.
That was not the path he chose for our salvation. He came to walk the paths of our lives and experience the world as we do so that we understand how much our Lord and Savior loves us. The Gospels don’t contain some of the human milestones we celebrate. There is no record of Jesus’ first steps or what his first word might’ve been. Did he ever ask the four questions which were part of the Seder meal? When did he first read from the Torah, and what passage was it?
We know that Jesus’ steps led him all over the nation of Israel and beyond as he brought the living word of God to all who would hear him. He asked those who would follow him, as well as those who challenged him, questions about what it meant to be a child of God. He offered words of grace, forgiveness, and love. During his life, he brought new meaning to the words of the Torah, helping to write the laws of God, not on parchment, but on our hearts.
Sometimes when we focus on the ways in which our Savior was and is fully divine, we can forget that he is also fully human. He wept at the death of his friend Lazarus and when he entered Jerusalem. He attended the wedding of family friends. He was sometimes hungry and often had no place to sleep. He needed to be alone from time to time to speak with God and renew his spirit. He sometimes became angry and frustrated by those who heard him but did not understand him. He prayed often and shared meals with friends and strangers. He saw people for who they were and did not chastise, criticize, or condemn them. Instead, he blessed them, embraced them, and forgave them.
Because he gets us. Each day he hopes that you and I will celebrate what it means to have Jesus in our lives as we continue our journeys of faith. May we continue to discover how our Lord and Savior—fully human and divine—came into the world to save us and transform us. Amen.
Last Updated on February 14, 2023