Jesus was manly. There, I said it.
At first, that statement might not sound earth shattering. But think about the image we often portray of Christ in our art:
- Have you ever seen a picture of Christ going hunting?
- Even better, have you ever seen a rendering of Christ skinning and gutting an animal?
- What about a picture of Jesus with mud on His robe –or messed up hair?
- Has an artist ever painted Christ with dirt under His fingernails?
See what I’m saying? It seems that we have embraced a feminized Messiah whose everyday life on earth avoided manly tasks that required getting dirty. There are way too many pictures of Jesus with perfect hair and a well-groomed beard.
I want my son to become a man who imitates Christ –the real Christ –not a dry-cleaned, feminized, safe, feel-good, manicured, marketable version of Christ.
I want my son to know that Jesus:
- Spit (Mark 8:23)
- Got His hands dirty (John 8:7)
- Went fishing (Luke 5:4-6)
- Didn’t always wash his hands before meals (Luke 11:38)
It seems like the only pictures we have of Jesus getting dirty are renderings of His arrest, beatings, and execution. This strange divide between pre-arrest Jesus (clean and neat), and post-arrest Jesus (dirty and bleeding), may unintentionally send the wrong signal.
If we never establish the fact that Jesus was manly before his arrest, it is difficult to process the great restraint he practiced during the passion week.
I want my son to know that when Jesus was arrested, beaten, tried, and crucified; He could have fought back. He wasn’t a wimp. He wasn’t timid. He wasn’t forced into a position against His will.
Instead, Jesus was strong and manly. He could have put up a good fight, but He chose to incur the wrath of God for my sin.
Teaching my son about the manliness of Christ will help him learn what true humility and compassion consist of:
- Strength under authority,
- Conviction over compulsion, and
- Faithfulness in the midst of suffering.