Really, to know what true, glad confidence looks like, we need to look at Jesus…which may have some of us scratching our heads. The mystery of Him as fully divine yet fully human is confusing and abstract. It’s hard to know how to think about that! Imagining Christ as divine is much easier for us. In that truth, Jesus never sins, teaches people about the Father and ushers in the kingdom of God with His words and deeds. But the other truth? Jesus as fully human? That’s harder for us to imagine. Did He cry as a child? What could make Him throw back His head and just laugh? Was He fun to be around or always just a little apart?
Children often answer these questions so much better than we do. In their natural, take-it-at-face-value approach to learning, they picture Jesus as the Teller of some pretty funny stories. They giggle when they imagine the irony of someone walking around with a 2×4 plank sticking out of their eye while trying to point at a tiny speck in someone else. Can you imagine all the people they would bump into? What about the image of someone trying to squeeze a big, old, fat, spitting camel through the eye of a teeny, tiny needle? You can just see the red-faced, straining guy underneath umpteen pounds of an outraged, squealing camel! And the rest? Well. It could be kind of messy!
This is Jesus as human. Telling stories that fire the imagination. Waking up ‘heart eyes’ so ‘mind eyes’ don’t take over everything. He communicated His message to curious and sometimes hostile audiences by playing with words and humor in ordinary events. And He did it as Himself…fully God, fully human…fully, gladly, confident. Since He wasn’t worried about how He came across, or what people were thinking, He could give Himself freely and lightly, fully present to the moment and to God. How very different that is from us. But oh! Doesn’t it just wake up longing to live like that!
ACTION: If you were to draw a picture of Jesus in conversation with you, how would He be looking at you? Would you sense His enjoyment and full attention? In your mind how does Jesus look in His divinity? How do you picture Him as human? How would the words, “freely” and “lightly” look on you?
And…just for fun…!
“Coffee with Jesus,” a daily online comic strip (and now a book) written by David Wilkie, illustrates this tension with wit and insight. In one comic “Dead serious,” “Carl” asks Jesus if he had a sense of humor back in biblical times.
“Nope. Walked around dead serious, somber,” Jesus responds. “Once in a while I could muster a weak smile when kids came up to me. Or puppies.”
“Bummer,” says Carl. “I’d always thought you were fully human as well as being fully God…Wait. You’re playing with me aren’t you, J-Man?”