What the world doesn’t need is one more men’s ministry. I’ve heard this statement a few times and it gives me cause to raise a question. In 1925 Bruce Barton wrote a book “the man nobody knows”, it’s a masterful description on the humanity of Jesus Christ and the life he lived that doesn’t lose sight of his deity in the process. I will not attempt to venture into the portals of the relationship embodied by the Trinity; that is a discussion which is the critical mass to all other discussions in “faith”. But, getting back to “the statement and the question that follows,” Barton’s book title supplies the statement – “the man nobody knows”, and now the question: “If we don’t know the man, how on earth are we ever going to know the nature of God?”
Could it be possible, that when Jesus commissioned the 12 to “go unto the world and preach the gospel”, He intended for them to share God’s character and personality along with His wit and humor; and not simply, just His words? When you consider that 87 years ago, a marketing salesman wrote a book that could be considered very much a part of the current dialog regarding men and leadership, I’m compelled to ask one more question on top of the first: “why? Why hasn’t the physical, literal, Jewish born, carpenters story not been preached to boys from their first Sunday school class? I must admit to have missed that section. I actually missed several; but, I have heard the gospel preached on many occasions and there has not been a great focus on this particular subject matter. I hear about redemption from sin and becoming born again, but little about the boy who spent 20 years as a carpenter apprentice, the man who walked through angry crowds of people who hated him, but couldn’t lay a hand on him; and why couldn’t they? The man who was in the face of those who questioned him in their own silly errors, who was called a “gluttonous wine-bibber” by the religious crowd, who turned 12 uneducated, blue collared folks into rock stars; after they had deserted him mind you. He hung out with the “ordinary folks” as Bill O’Reilly, might say. Yes, he walked on water. He also turned 6 big jars of water into the equivalent of 908 bottles of wine, at a wedding feast, after the crowd was pretty well watered themselves. He was funny and played jokes on his buddies and he had to get away at times and just be alone and talk to His Father. Somewhere, when you put all these pieces together you find something very significant about the nature of God. You also find something very unique about the language of Jesus which is far from the common. Don’t think it! The Cross, the Resurrection, yes, that is the main point, I understand; but, could there be something to the life of the Jewish born, carpenter’s apprentice that leads us to the very fact that for 2000 years, the message has not been clear enough. If I am incorrect, why don’t more men in the mainstream resemble the 12?
He came to give us a real life picture story of who and what the living God was actually like, so we could understand that He is real; and, that He loves us with a compassion unable to explain in words. It’s so immensely deep, that when you “get it”, you’ll never be the same.
There is a story inside the gospels that needs more discussion. Jesus was a guy’s guy, a man’s man; I’m not sure about that statement. Does he have to be? I only know that there has never been anyone like him. The Old Testament refers to him as the “Lion of the Tribe” he referred to himself the most often as, “the Son of Man”. Though we might live in a time, when historians may write, we were the most educated uneducated people of history in terms of our own history. One thing is certain, you cannot have a personal relationship that is lasting with someone whom all you know about them is half their story. The part that’s missing; It always haunts you.