Jesus loved being human!
Jesus was God in human flesh. He embraced full humanity and full divinity at the same moment. I know, the math doesn’t add up, but Jesus was just that kind of guy. He did extraordinary things, he taught remarkably unpopular lessons, and he hung around unspeakable people. Jesus was just . . . . different.
And I think Jesus loved every moment of it. Many times when we think of Jesus’ life on earth, our mind’s take us to the last agonizing moments of his life. While that is certainly the most dynamic part of the Jesus story, it is not the only part we can learn from. In fact, Jesus’ love of his life on earth gives us a roadmap to loving our own life.
Have you ever known someone who enjoyed a meal as much as Jesus did? Maybe you have. But seriously, consider this for a moment.
Jesus enters his ministry at a wedding where there is a plethora of food and wine. Well, at least when he is done with it.
There are an abundance of stories told of Jesus eating with people (tax-collectors, sinners, Pharisees, religious rulers, etc.)
When there is not food, Jesus provides it. For thousands of people. Twice!
One of the last moments Jesus spends with his disciples (his closest friends) was over a meal. And this meal was thoroughly planned and prepared.
Even the resurrected Jesus had breakfast with his disciples (I love the bookends with the disciples over a meal).
Pretty remarkable, huh?
Jesus over the dinner table is one of the most re-recurring themes in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus loved meals. Jesus loved being with people. Jesus loved festivities.
So, how else do we know that Jesus loved being human? Well, contagious joy poured out from him all the time.
Just imagine this scene: One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left. Children don’t flock to unhappy people. Children are magnetically drawn to those who inspire them, make them laugh, and give them attention.
I think Jesus loved being human. I think he cherished it. Jesus loved being with people and people loved being with him. Jesus knew how to have a good time and people were attracted to him.
Jesus was even funny. Don’t believe me? If you don’t find the “plank in your own eye” analogy humoring, be assured the people he told it to most likely found themselves chuckling.
Jesus drew people in because they were intrigued by is love for life.
This is not to say that Jesus was always filled with happiness and high spirits. No, this would be too unreachable for us. Just like me, and probably you, Jesus had ups and downs.
Yesterday, I felt sluggish. My day dragged on, I felt unproductive, and my self-esteem was shot. Then I woke up today and felt like I was floating. Everything worked in my favor and I could see my purpose again. Often times I cannot control how I’m feeling, I just feel it!
I need a God who can relate to that! Luckily, we have one.
Jesus cried when his friends passed away (Jn. 11:35).
Jesus got tired of being around people and secluded to a mountaintop alone (Lk. 5:16).
Jesus was so angry at one point he flipped over a table (Mt. 21:12).
Jesus feared his death to a point where he was sweating blood.
Have you ever been so afraid that you were sweating blood?!
Yeah, me neither.
Yet, Jesus loved being human; all parts of it. The highest peaks and the lowest pits, Jesus reveled in it.
I think there is a lot to learn from Jesus view of the human experience. This is God in human flesh. The Creator of the universe walking around in skin that matches yours and mine. He thinks with a human mind, walks with human speed, and smells with a human nose. He hurts in his heart and feels hunger roll around in his stomach. Jesus was fully holy, yet loved being fully human.
Take note, there is something special about being human. Of course, we are made in the image of God, but I believe there is something more to it. There is something inherently good about the human experience. There are times when that is hard to see, I get that. Anxiety, angst, depression, anger, fear and other powerful emotions often fog our perspective of life. But if the Creator of the universe adorned being human, I believe there is something special to be said about being human.
My encouragement to you is to find ways to enjoy life. Spend intentional time with the ones you love. With the holiday season coming in to full swing, many of us will be surrounded by friends and family. Break out a board-game, tell a joke, and gather around a table for a meal.
Learn to rest well. Take an afternoon nap and fully embrace a Sabbath day (a day of doing nothing). If we take cues from Jesus then we must learn the value in deserved rest and solitude.
Finally, find ways to appreciate you. Not in a self-indulgent manner, but identify your uniqueness and value and lean into it.
In many ways we can learn to live and love like Jesus. But maybe one of the most profound lessons he gave us was how to love life itself.