Jesus-Life Model

In the preceding series, we have explored many qualities of Jesus’ humanity. We have used Scripture to reveal His attitudes toward God, self, others and life. While analyzing Jesus’ humanity, we have contrasted our human approach to live our lives as followers of Christ. We have emphasized that the human tendency is to take good qualities of being human and pushing them to an extreme out of some inner compulsion. What conclusions can we draw?

Self Knowledge. As we explored the many qualities of Jesus’ personality, did you discover yourself identifying with one dominant trait? Perhaps as the person who searches for wisdom or the person who seeks achievement, or one of the other traits? Were you able to identify with the tendency to take a good quality and push it to an extreme? Oh yes, you probably related to many of the weaknesses described, but it is identifying your dominant driving force that is important. That produces the valuable discovery of self-knowledge.

Personality theory tells us that as early as the age of six we have adopted a consistent way of coping with life for the sake of gaining security and a meaningful existence. We can go through life without consciously perceiving or reflecting on our defensive strategy, because it is so carefully hidden in our subconscious. It is only when we are seeking to achieve personal and spiritual growth that we become aware that a problem exists. We keep repeating the same weaknesses. We find ourselves making little spiritual progress. If we don’t discover our dominant compulsion, it will greatly influence our decisions about what we do or don’t do, how we think about ourselves or how we relate to others.

Further, discovering the dominant driving force in our life leads us to greater intimacy with Jesus. For we share with Jesus a common way of living. If we are bold leader-types, so was Jesus. The only difference is that we have taken that quality to an extreme. So that discovery can lead to greater union with Jesus and provide the basis for realistic prayer.

Ideal Evangelist. Jesus was a fully integrated person. He could be an idealist, but He could also be a Good Samaritan. He could be an achiever but also an optimist. He could be a searcher for wisdom but also a feeling person. He could be serene, and loyal to institutions, but also a bold leader who confronted the establishment. As such, Jesus is an ideal model for us of an ideal evangelist. To accomplish Jesus’ mission, we will be challenged to move out of our personality’s comfort zone and become the idealist in one set of circumstances or the Good Samaritan in others, and so forth. To be successful at evangelization, we will be required to be the fully integrated person that Jesus was.

Spirit-driven. Jesus transcended all personality types because He was Spirit-driven. He responded to reality as it was, not out of some inner compulsion. When we operate out of compulsion, we do not enjoy the freedom to be aware or live in the now or relate Christlike to others. So what is the solution? Many spiritual writers say that when we reach the inner center of our being, we are more intimately at home with ourselves, more intimately united with others, more intimately united with God. So we must get in touch with our inner center and operate out of our inner center. Why? Because that is where the Spirit resides. Only by becoming Spirit-possessed can we gain our freedom from a compulsive life. Living that paradox leads to a more fully human and Christlike life.