What Was Jesus Like? His Heritage and Character
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What Was Jesus Like? His Heritage and Character

The Gospel writers pay no attention to the outside details of Christ's life while they excel in telling us of his character.


What Was Jesus Like? His Heritage and Character

Here is what we know with confidence about how Jesus looked: As a Palestinian Jew, His skin would have been olive color, his eyes brown and his hair black. Palestinian men also liked having a beard.  Jesus’ mother tongue would have been Aramaic with a Galilean accent. He could probably speak Greek, and some Latin. He would have been educated in the Hebrew Scriptures. The gospel writers however, pay no attention to these details because what a man is stems from his character and it’s here that the gospels excel.

Jesus was great company. He attracted people like a magnet and they walked miles just to be with him. He mixed with “important” people….. “street” people …...and everyone else-- with ease – inspiring intellectuals and the uneducated alike.  

He often won the admiration of crowds …and yet valued time with close friends. Jesus was a carpenter by trade and yet …..He could teach a man like Nicodemus ---someone who had the highest theological training one could have for that time.

Jesus valued women and they were an important part of his movement. How different this was from pious Jewish men who would pray, “Thank you God that I wasn’t born a woman!”  Jesus valued children too and was often found surrounded by them. He was quite unlike the self important religious leaders that saw children as one big nuisance and intrusion.

And then --- Jesus made God real. God was his Father and not some absent world ruler. He called him “Abba” which today we’d translate as “daddy” or “papa”. Jesus was in constant touch with his Father and often left the presence of others to talk things out with him, especially when he had a decision to make. Jesus claimed that he and his father were one and that he did only those things that pleased his father.  

What he meant was that he lived so close to God that His own life provided an unclouded view of who God is. That’s why Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus made God accessible for the first time to everyone and they loved him for that.

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