Why I LIKE Jesus.


(The context for this “study” is the entire New Testament.  And years spent attempting to know Him better.)

          For quite a while I’ve been thinking about why I like Jesus.  I’m not talking about the reasons why I LOVE Him. . . but why I LIKE HIM.  There are things He said and did which I could never attempt, much less accomplish.  He lived a perfect life.  I could never do that.  He never sinned.  That kind of conduct isL impossibly and eternally beyond my reach.  He was perfect in every way.  I don’t even come close to that!  Someone told my wife I was a perfect idiot.  She jumped immediately to my defense and said: “He is NOT! NO ONE IS PERFECT!”    He died for our sins.  He rose again from the dead, and I have no idea how to do that!

          Like I said, there are things about Him that I worship and adore.  But could never achieve with any amount of effort.  What I’m thinking about now, though, are the things He said and did what He did that I really like a lot.  And can probably find them “do-able.”

          One thing is that He loved little children.  And they loved Him.   One day when a lot of people (including children) were pressing in close to hear Him, the disciples tried to “shooo” them away.  Jesus put an abrupt end to that, and told the disciples to allow the children to come as close as they wished.   “They’re the kind of people who populate Heaven.”*   He never told the little children to “grow up!”  Instead, He said: “Unless you (speaking to adults) become as little children, you shall not see (much less enter) the Kingdom of God.”**   Another time, when a crisis developed, Jesus’ disciples panicked because they had a big, hungry crowd on their hands and nothing with which to feed them.  They thought they had a p.r. disaster on their hands.  Jesus calmed them down and asked them to take inventory of the situation.  The “man of the hour” who helped save the occasion was a little boy who offered all he had to help solve the problem: his lunch.  Five little biscuits and a couple of pan fish which his mom, no doubt, had packed for him for his lunch. ***

           I have no idea how Jesus did the things He did.  I know very well I could NEVER come close to accomplishing such feats.  I also know, though, that I can love little children and treat them with respect and kindness.

           Another thing I really like about Jesus is that all kinds of people felt comfortable in his presence.  His critics (check them out) accused him of being a “friend of publicans and sinners.” Riff-raff.  Hoi polloi.  He took that as a compliment, proudly called them “friends.” and later laid down His life for folks like that.  We’re told that the “common people heard Him gladly.”  Obviously, that was because He spoke about things that meant something to them. . . and He did it clearly and simply.  They could understand what He said.  It was so clear.  He didn’t seek to confuse them, or impress them with high-sounding words or lofty phrases or ambiguous ideas.  He didn’t injure their already over-burdened, downtrodden spirit with harsh, judgmental pronouncements.  He didn’t talk down to them or hurl hurtful words at them.  Good, solid down-to-earth people (Fishermen, for example) enjoyed just being in His company. 

           I also like Jesus for the fact that He wasn’t destroyed when He was interrupted.  He seemed not to have a “panic button.”  You see on numerous occasions how people came to Him, seemingly from out of nowhere, and just broke in abruptly on what He was doing (or saying) at the time.  Invariably, He used the interruption as an occasion to bring hope, healing, and “blessing” to the “Interrupter” (If that’s even a word!).

          I’ll need to work on that virtue he showed.  If I’m concentrating on something and get interrupted, I tend to get rattled.  Aggravated.  Agitated.  Out of focus.  Maybe even impatient, touchy or belligerent.  If I acted more like Jesus, perhaps I could see and seize opportunity to do good. . . even if distracted temporarily from something else I happened to be doing and thought was important.  I should at least consider that possibility.

          And I like the way Jesus was unimpressed with power and pretense.  He didn’t hesitate, or weaken His words, even when facing the hierarchical hounds who pursued Him to His death.  The people who ALWAYS felt uncomfortable in His presence were those who were pretentiously pious and equally pompous in their positions.  They were impressed with themselves and strutted with their robes and finery and inflated self-importance and self-righteousness.   Self-seeking, self-serving, arrogant and unconcerned about the unfortunate.  Jesus was unimpressed by people like that, told them so, and deflated their bloated egos like a punctured balloon.  

          He was kind.  He was gentle.  He was rugged, not a sissy.  Definitely a man’s man.  He commanded admiration and respect.  The people who didn’t “like” Him and in fact came to hate Him, were the self-righteous, self-satisfied, self-serving professional religionists.  They were always uneasy in His presence, because somehow they knew He knew them for who they really were.  And did not hesitate to tell them so!                                                                                   

          Taking His life totally, I stand in awe.  I bow in humble adoration before the Carpenter from Nazareth whom I gratefully call: “Saviour.”  But, honestly, I enjoy knowing Him and appreciate the fact that He calls me “Friend.”  I like Him, and wish my life incorporated more of the genuinely warm, gentle, human traits.

          I have a favorite song, which I’ve asked to be sung at any final service marking my departure from this life.  I have hummed and sung it to myself for years and when I’d use it in speeches, I’d attribute it to an anonymous author.  A friend in Atlanta helped me identify the writer:  A Methodist minister, Thomas Obadiah Chisholm, who wrote in the early 1900’s.  Although I do not achieve the objective, his words express my desire.  The melody is inspiring, and some of the words go like this:

I have one deep, supreme desire:  That I may be like Jesus.

To this I fervently aspire: that I may be like Jesus. 

I want my heart His home to be, so that a watching world may see                                                                              

His likeness shining forth in me.  I want to be like Jesus.

Oh perfect life of Christ my Lord. . . I want to be like Jesus.

My recompense and my reward~that I may be like Jesus.  

His spirit fill my hungering soul; His power all my life control.                                                                                

My deepest prayer, my hightest goal ~ that I may be like Jesus.

His servant, your friend and fellow student~donkimrey

(FYI:  A “publican” was a tax collector.  In those days, these guys were despised.  Believe it or not, they were worse than today’s worst They were predators serving a foreign power and sucking economic life from their own people.  They collected the huge tax assessments imposed by the occupying Roman government and “tacked on” their “commissions” which piled even heavier burdens to the Jews.)                                                         Next time we visit, I intend to get better acquainted with Moses.  I’m hoping you’ll take time to become familiar with his life as it is recorded in the Genesis, the book I believe he wrote.  This will continue the examination of the lives of what I’ve been calling “God’s ‘Comeback’ Kids.   We’ll use the same procedures as before, investigative journalism, and asking pertinent questions. ~dk)

 

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8 responses to “Why I LIKE Jesus.

  1. I believe most of us “love” Jesus simply because we were taught as children that we’re “supposed to”. But there’s a big difference in “obligatory love” and “genuinely liking” someone, isn’t there? Even if that ‘someone’ is Jesus.

    You have some mighty fine reasons for liking Jesus, Don, and all are doable for us. Your list inspired me to think of reasons why I genuinely like Him, too. I’d like to share one.

    What I like about Jesus is that He doesn’t “see” the superficial: a bad hair day, a less than perfect complexion, or scuffed shoes. He only sees what matters. 1Samuel 16:7 states, But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

    That is doable! I can (and from this moment on will) make a conscious effort to look past physical imperfection and see as Jesus sees: the heart. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I’m glad that Jesus is my Beholder.

    As always, Don, a study so-simple, yet so thought-provoking. I’m eager to read what others like about Jesus. I also look forward to studying God’s Next Comeback Kid: Moses! Thanks, Don.

    Ebby

  2. The simplicity of Christ is one of my favorite things about him. He simply hangs out with people and their lives are changed forever. How much more simple could it be? It doesn’t matter to him who or what they are, he just enjoys them – individually. Is there a party in town? That is where you would find him!
    Sometimes he threw the party – — two favorite times are when he told Zacchaeus (Matthew 19: 1-10) to hurry down for he was going to his house Today.
    Another favorite party Jesus threw happened after his resurrection (John 21) he held a fishfry and ask the disciples to join him and to bring their fish too. I like Jesus because he likes to fish, party, and keep things simple. His directness has always been an attraction for me.
    Numerous times he spoke in simple stories or in simple explanations, so I don’t have to try to guess what it all means. I can take him at his word, and I like that about him.
    His model of prayer was simple. His direction about life and the situations (finances, love, money, power, needs, activities) we find ourselves, is simple. Love God, Love others — Live out loud, be audacious, be nonconforming, serve with gladness —how much more simple can it be?
    What about the story when the blind man called out to Jesus as he was walking by and Jesus asked him directly, “what do you want from me?” and the blind guy said –I want to see again! So the guy was given his sight — now, what is not to like about a guy who can give you what you want – the key is to know what it is you want????? I like Jesus because in my imagination I can see the humor in some of the situaions and I think Jesus’ face was wearing a smile most of the time — he enjoyed life — lived to the fullest — and makes sure, I get the same trip! Yelp, I would say that I live Jesus, for who he is — my friend.

    There are lots of more reasons I like him, I would be writing each day forever!!!!

  3. Hi Don,

    Just visiting, but wanted to let you know I really LIKED and enjoyed this post (now I’m intrigued and will have to go read some of your other thoughts). Right now I have a big ol’ smile on my face and am nodding in agreement. Years ago, I realized how much I “like” Him, and was nearly caught by surprise…the thought seemed borderline disrespectful.

    Umm, NOT.

    Thanks for this.

  4. I just thought of another thing that I love to like about Jesus.

    Matthew 28:9 and the cross-references, which I’m too lazy to look up now. After the apostles all left Him high and dry, He never confronted them about it. He sent angels to tell them He was coming back, made picnics on the beach for them, and in general let them save face. Even after they all bailed on Him, their Master.

    It’s one thing to know Jesus is forgiving in a general sense; to grasp this as an attribute of God….another to see it in action. He came back, and His first words to them were of love and peace. (“Shalom”). I was reminded of this today when I considered confronting someone, and immediately knew what Jesus would do. Extend grace — never even mention it.

    I like that.

  5. “The context for this “study” is the entire New Testament. ”

    Now that is thinking big!

    Seriously, that is a great way to approach thinking about our Savior. I really like the thought of Jesus, friend of sinners (I think that is a song).

    “Definitely a man’s man. He commanded admiration and respect. ”

    Amen! It bothers me when people water him down to some kind of Gandhi-Christ (nothing against Gandhi) that was just so meek, mild and inoffensive.

  6. What a “coincidence” – I just went to Marie’s site and saw her image that said “Friend of sinners.”

  7. Pyromaniacs rocks.

  8. What do I “like” about Jesus? After much thought about your question, I was reminded of something that has been a recurring reality in my personal relationship with Him. As a child (a rather impertinent one at times), I occasionally had arguments with God/Jesus when things weren’t quite going my way. This was something that my parents didn’t quite comprehend, or much appreciate. But throughout my life, when I’ve been angry or in the midst of a (self) “pity party”, He would find a way to remind me of the story in John 5: 1-9, where Jesus said to the man who had been waiting for 38 YEARS: “Get up!” Pick up your bed and walk!

    In other words, I don’t think Jesus was very tolerant of excessive self pity. Lying around a pool waiting for 38 years to have someone else help you into the pool. Could the man not have crawled to the edge of the pool in that much time?? Having gone through some difficult times, and allowing myself to get mired in the muck of self pity, recalling this story reminds me that He is always there for me, but He requires that I do my part. Isn’t this what any “best” friend would do for another?

    Yes, He is a wonderful, likable, constantly-by-your side, best friend. He sees us as we are and loves us anyway.

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