Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

 

In Focus

Jesus the People Person

Monday, February 10, 2020

You would expect that if God showed up in the world that there would be something to indicate his arrival. A virgin birth was a pretty good clue along with the centuries of prophesies about his coming. My assumption would be, if God was to join us, His teaching would be significant. Indeed God joining us has shaped western society – our ethics, our politics, our literature, our culture, our relationships and brought untold blessings to the world.  I reckon if God is God then you’d also expect He’d perform some miraculous indicators of His presence. Well for the past few weeks I have been trying to introduce you to the God who visited, to Jesus Christ, for whom the press is very mixed.

But big signs and divine education does not, perhaps, indicate something people often miss. Jesus Christ was a people person. By that I don’t mean he was the boisterous life of the party even though he could walk across the swimming pool if he wanted to. Nor was He the one to always shout drinks at the bar, although He did provide the best wine for a wedding, and all that from jars of water. He could have been a motivational speaker whose stage performances commanded significant remuneration but you never see Him as a man on the take.  People pursued him for inheritance rulings, for more than their wealth provided, but the only money that seemed to cross palms was the 30 pieces of silver paid to the one who would betray Jesus to his death. 

Jesus Christ is so odd, an enigma in our 2020 context. He always spoke the truth, not making compromises of convenience. He did not run around trying to be impressive, he held back His behaviour so as to avoid being a show pony and He seems to have taken nothing from anyone but copped everything from everyone. Everything from ridicule and denial to betrayal and brutality. 

In my experience this is the kind of stuff that makes for a recluse, but that was not Jesus. He may have chosen solitary places from time to time to pray but He didn’t turn people away. He met crowds with words of promise and fed them. He saw harassed and helpless people and had compassion on them. He met people troubled over the condition of others they loved and He went with them to offer help and comfort. He stood with people the world prosecuted and He did not condemn. He enjoyed the hospitality of the rejected and He took enough interest in those doing the rejecting to remind them of their own need. He was gentle towards the sinner, harsh on the self-righteous, and unintimidated by anyone or anything. He had healing for the suffering, comfort for the struggling, an education for the teachable, wisdom for the foolish, a fresh start for the failing and life for the dead and dying.

Jesus was a people person. If we were the people he walked among he’d be just the same. He’d not compromise His divine absolutes in relationships and would still say to those caught up in a sinful life, “Go and sin no more.” But nor would he compromise His divine compassion to love the sinner, comfort the struggling, forgive the guilty, or to educate and offer people a fresh start.

Interestingly Jesus turned no one away who wanted to follow Him. He just kept inviting them to join Him. Everyone from the simple to the fool were given an invite to the hope He offered. On reading about Jesus Christ’s visit to our world, the only people who are in real trouble when it comes to Jesus are the scoffers. But that should be no surprise because scoffers are not God people, not Jesus people, even though Jesus made very clear that God is a people person.  Jesus Christ made one thing very clear, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” God is for you! Why not join Him and His people if you have not already.

Rick Lewers