On Father’s Day I challenged fathers to be an example to their kids by living their life like Jesus (listen here). My main thought was captured in 1st Cor 11:1 where Paul said follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. The challenge was that we (fathers) should be able to say the same thing to our children! It sounded good and it preached well, but did it resonate with men? Is Jesus the kind of man that other men want to imitate? That’s one of the questions that’s rattled around in my head since Father’s Day. Before you accuse me of heresy, hear me out.
My fear is that our culture has “sissified” Jesus. Portraits depict him as a gaunt, frail man with stringy hair and lily white skin. Movies portray him as a mild mannered, timid man with more feminine qualities than masculine ones. Even preachers have tended to emphasize his meekness more than his boldness. And we wonder why more women are attending church than men. Where’s the Jesus who made a living with his own two hands? Who cleaned out the temple? Confronted the Pharisees? Stood toe to toe with Pilate? Endured ridicule and beatings? Carried the cross? Withstood the nails? Rolled away the stone?
Yes, he was a man of mildness and gentleness, but he was also a man of great courage and boldness. Don’t let the pictures fool you. His shoulders were probably broad, his hands callused, his muscles taunt. And don’t let Hollywood tame him. He was a radical teacher, a powerful healer, a friend to all who met him, a man who stood for his convictions, a man who kept his word, and a man willing to pay the ultimate price for those he loved. He’s exactly the kind of man I want to be.