I’ve recently been on a journey through the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I think we would all agree that there’s just something about the narrative of Jesus. Like the hymn of old, ‘just the mention of that name.’
I think of His audience, those who had heard the best of what the Sanhedrin had spoken — the mixed messages of the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Something was different about this son of Nazareth. The tone and pitch of His words carried authority and not the kind that came from man; He spoke with mercy and compassion that left them hearing truth for the very first time.
As we read the Gospels we see the remarkable character and balance of Jesus as He responded to the Pharisees by stripping them down to their own flawed humanity, reminding them that apart from God they are broken. Hear His words echo down through the annals of time as they resonate in our hearts and minds even today.
More than two thousand years ago, somewhere on a Jerusalem Hill, people gathered to hear Him speak; “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him” (Matthew 5:3). What stands out about Jesus was His genuine care and compassion for God and God’s people.
He was completely authentic.
The dictionary defines authentic as of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine. Some associated synonyms are real, true, valid, reliable, dependable, trustworthy, honest and faithful. It’s not hard to see that these all form part of the character of Jesus.
The Urban Dictionary defines authentic as being all real and not about the fake stuff.
The people saw Jesus as all real – the Pharisees and their Sanhedrin counterparts were commonly associated with mixed messages and double standards, but Jesus was authentic.
Do you remember the WWJD era? A time when Christians wore the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) wrist bands with pride. Interestingly, I heard a story that the most commonly stolen item in Christian bookshops was the WWJD wrist bands at the purchase counter (so tragic it’s almost funny!)
If my Christianity could be anything I want it to be real, true, valid, reliable, dependable, trustworthy, honest and faithful – just like Jesus was.
Over the next few weeks we are going to explore ‘authentic’ – enjoy the journey, tell a friend.