There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD— Proverbs 21:30 (King James Version)
My faith is a part of me that is palpably obvious to many. I live it and talk about the various aspects of it that may intersect, in the conversation with whomever I am having it. Of course, being a Christian, Jesus is the all in all. So, in one way or the other Jesus will show up in the conversation. You cannot talk about football in Argentina without Diego Maradona.
As I converse with folks, either in sharing the faith or in making a passionate appeal for consideration, I realised that there are parts of Jesus that folks are comfortable with and there are other parts that others would prefer that are not brought up. Well, you cannot separate water from wetness.
That made me ponder more on Jesus. Those ponderings have led to more questions (yes, it is ok to question what you believe from time to time. This helps in eliminating assumptions) and sometimes Eureka moments. There are times that illumination is shed either from listening to a preacher or portions of scripture gives you the home-run on a truth that one has been struggling with. The spiritual life is a marathon.
In my studies, I have come to see that Jesus is usually viewed from five parts.
- Principles of Jesus
- Personality of Jesus
- Purpose of Jesus
- Power of Jesus
- Person of Jesus
These five parts make the whole. They cannot be taken as one part. Taking one part and leaving the rest is like having only oxygen but hoping that you will get water without hydrogen. Hydrogen is good. Oxygen is good. But you need both to make water. In the same fate, you need these 5Ps of Jesus in order to get the best out of what He has to offer to humanity.
Principles of Jesus
This is the part of Jesus many do like and admire. His wisdom, knowledge and ability to decipher hard matters are marvellously outstanding. Jesus has got principles to get you by in life. Jesus, the wise man and great moral teacher, is very acceptable to many. The principles — “Give and it shall be given unto you”, servant leadership principles, cost-effectiveness, planning, succession plan — are sprinkled all over scriptures. A lot has been written on the leadership principles of Jesus. This is the reason Jesus is regarded as one of the greatest moral teachers and a role model in leadership.
However, there are some principles of Jesus that are not often repeated. A good example is, “love your enemies”. The reason is simple — they are hard to follow. Most folks think that only Jesus can follow those principles because He was God-man. What they do not realise is that those principles can be followed ONLY when you are powered by the grace of God. The grace of God can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ (we will get there). For grace and truth came through Jesus (John 1:17). He embodies grace.
The principles of Jesus makes Jesus look like a deep thinker with a well-ordered life; that though supernatural he abided by set rules that made for His greatness. Few will mention that one of His principles included a consistent prayer life — constant communication with the eternal God that made the heavens and the earth. Jesus taught a compelling principle that when practised produces wonderful results — watch and pray. Most watch alone (activities and works). Most pray alone (intercession). But when both are put into work — the spiritual (pray) and secular (work) — great things happen. But as you know most people prefer to take one part without the other — only oxygen without hydrogen but hoping to get water. This is the type of hope that fails. it does not spring — talk less of spring eternal.
Personality of Jesus
Do you ever wonder what Jesus Christ’s personality was like? Have you felt curious at times about what he was like as a son, neighbour, friend, student, teacher? What kind of experience do you suppose it was to interact with him? Jesus is often portrayed as a gentle and easy-going person. Most people think of Him as outgoing, sociable and focused on people, all characteristics of a preference for extraversion. Helpful is one adjective that will most times come after the name of Jesus. He healed many. He made wine available when a situation arose. He condemned not the woman caught in adultery. Kind, selfless, considerate are the words that would describe Jesus.
However, there are parts of Jesus’ life that though reported in many instances, many overlook. We overlook that there were times He withdrew from the crowd to pray and fellowship with the Father. Same Jesus told His mum not to provoke Him. There were times He forbade people to report His miracles. His siblings felt He was beside Himself at some point. And there was that scene at the temple where He chased those who turned a holy place of worship into a house of merchandise (sounds familiar with that happens in several of our churches today?).
Remember the Jesus that told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan”. Revelation talks about the coming Jesus as one with flames in His eyes. So, what do you think of Jesus’ personality? Still gentle? Well, in whatsoever directions that your thoughts go, know this for sure that Jesus had a consistent personality. His personality was predicated upon His purpose. Anything that stood in the way of that purpose, He did what He had to do to unblock it. Think of what I just wrote. That was why He did whatsoever He did in the situations He found Himself.
Purpose of Jesus
Jesus came to bring man back to God. That meant redemption from sin as Matthew reports in Matthew 1:21. He came to bring back eternal life to man. He came to destroy the works of the devil. He came to show man how to worship God — in spirit and in truth. He came so that grace might be made bountiful so that man can be empowered to follow God.
He also came to make men rich — spirit, body and soul. However, it is the prosperity of the body that seems to attract many. The body here represents the physical — health and wealth. There is even a healthy debate that Jesus was earthly wealthy and that is why His robes were sought after by the Roman soldiers after His death. I don’t know what to make out of that because that would be majoring on the minor. If you get unto that lane of only “body” prosperity ALONE, then you fall into the danger of a single story. The fallacy of the narrative follows afterwards. You will twist scriptural truth to fit your narrative. It is a dangerously sloppy path. Hard to come out of.
For this reason, Paul told those in Ephesus that he came to expound to them the full counsel of God. When thinking of the purpose of Jesus — don’t see it as only someone that came to redeem us from sin but also as one who came to make us live responsible lives that involve sacrifices. Remember Jesus talked about His burden being light. Yes, there is a burden when following Jesus. “Pick your cross and follow me,” He says and continues to say. His purpose involves a cross and also a burden but they lead to living the triumphant life that makes one unattached to the accolades of what the world has to offer. He came to bring men back to God. He came to restore that order that was in Eden — when man could communicate directly with God without an intermediary.
Power of Jesus
The divine mandate of Jesus to walk and work in the supernatural makes Jesus attractive. Imagine having the kind of powers that Jesus possessed. You could heal the sick, provide food to people in need, raise the dead, have a say on weather patterns. Think of having the powers to stop COVID at will. This was what attracted the sons of Sceva to Jesus.
I have never met anyone who would not want to wield power. Power makes you famous, desirable, wanted, useful, consulted and most importantly, it has a feel-good factor. But Jesus’ power was endowed with great restraints. Imagine having access to legions of angels and a mere mortal threatened you? Imagine having to heal the same man that came to arrest you? Imagine using your powers to serve people and not using it to network with the strong and mighty.
When you admire that powers of Jesus — which is indescribable and inexplicable — know that it comes with great restraints and responsibility. Responsibility to use those powers to serve. Restraints and control, not to use it for personal purposes only — display and oppress. Power is nothing without control and that is what Jesus has to offer.
Person of Jesus
This is that part of Jesus that many would not want to deal with. Jesus made bold claims that rattled many — especially religious people. “I am the door”, “I am the bread of life”, “I am the way, the truth and the life”, “I am the son of God”, “I came from heaven”. The virgin birth though prophesied and came to pass keeps many thinking. The person of Jesus is that part that links Him directly to the Father. These include Jesus the high priest, prophet, king, prince of peace, wonderful counsellor, etc. These positions are in the person of Jesus. You cannot find them anywhere else.
The person of Jesus gives peace. It aligns all forces of spiritual understanding. When the person of Jesus is accepted for who He is, then it is easy to understand the other parts of Jesus. Most importantly, it will be easy to live the principles He outlined and walk in His power. This part of Jesus is the key. It is where the adoption into sonship happens. The miracle of allowing Jesus to lead and superintend our life comes when the person of Jesus is accepted.
Finally, I will restate what I started with. You need the whole of Jesus. You cannot take one and leave the other. The whole counsel of God is found in Him. It is natural at first, to struggle with His dictates. The wise do not flee from listening and doing. They ask for grace when a hard gospel is taught. When the disciples heard the number of times you need to forgive in a day, they bowed and said: “Lord increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). That is the attitude.
There is no wisdom — old or new — or “wokeness” that should make you go against God. “If you jam trailer or trailer jam you, na you go wound”, “God no be our mate o”. As John said in John 3:30 — that Jesus will increase in us and we will willingly decrease.
This is our prayers. Amen.
165 total views, 2 views today