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What the Gospels teach us about Jesus

Church of the Frescos in Ashe County, NC
Photo by Cheryl A. Williams

Through the gospels, we come to know a personal Jesus. We see Him not only as God, but as man. And He was a man who had to deal with the same temptations that we do. When He was tempted in the desert by Satan, He had to rely on God the Father for strength to resist what was before Him.....just as we are to resist temptation.

In the recounting of the experiences through the men who best knew Jesus, we see a son. Not only was He son to His Heavenly Father, He was son to His earthly parents. Jesus always honored His parents. But as evidenced in the story of the 12 year old Jesus teaching in the temple, Jesus always placed His Heavenly Father's wishes above those of His earthly father.

We see Jesus as a Healer. No only did He heal the sick, he healed those with mental illness, and demon possession. He healed anyone who came to Him in faith, and it mattered not their financial status, their religion, their sex.

We see Jesus as a Teacher...one whose teaching were profound and said in very little words. His teachings were often told in parables, so as to make the people think. And he taught with stories with which the people could easily relate.

We see Jesus as a Rebel, in that He challenged the religiosity of those who believed keeping the letter of the law was the way to God. He showed that keeping the law must come from a desire that springs from a heart of love, not from a heart that is cold just going through the motions.

Jesus challenged the idea that a king must sit on an earthly throne. Jesus was born in a humble stable, and He died as a criminal. In rode in on a donkey rather than a chariot when He entered Jerusalem. The gospels showed us that Jesus was a miracle worker. And His 1st miracle, performed at the wedding in Cana when He turned water into wine, showed us a Jesus who enjoyed celebration and having a good time.

We see a Jesus who had compassion for the least and the lost. His mercy knew no end. He did not only see a person's actions. He saw the heart behind the action. He saw the life of the person and the challenges he faced.

We see a Jesus who took time out for Himself. He knew He needed time alone to rest, reflect, and pray. This was evidenced by Him as He left a crowd waiting because He needed time alone.

We see a Jesus who was not ashamed to cry and show emotion on any level. Whether anger over the selling in the temple on the Sabbath, or weeping bitter tears in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest, He was a man of emotion.

We see a man who did not place Himself above anyone. He mingled with those nobody else wanted anything to do with. He ate with sinners. His dear friend was an ex-prostitute. And Jesus bowed to no one but His Father in Heaven.

In Jesus, we see a fulfillment of prophecy foretold years before He was born. We see that fulfillment in both His birth as well as His death and resurrection.

In the Gospels, we see a Jesus who was the perfect example of the way we should live our lives. From His birth to His resurrection, He was Love Incarnate. He experienced what we experience, but did not let those experiences lead Him away from the will of His Father.

The Gospels show us a Jesus who revealed Himself differently to each of the disciples. Through the same events, the disciples were able to write about their experiences in a unique way. Jesus touched each one differently, just as He touches each one of us differently, based upon our need.

All that Jesus was, is, and will be remains the same...just as the Father remains the same. In this we can take heart that in Jesus we have a Brother, a Friend, a Healer, a Teacher, a Preacher, a Miracle Worker, a Forgiver, Someone to laugh with, Someone to cry with, Someone to fight our battles with, and Someone who will always understand and have mercy on us.

This is the Jesus the Gospels reveal to us, and this is the Jesus who is alive today.