I was born into a Christian family, and Church has always been a constant part of our lives. I started attending Sunday school as far back as I can remember. I got to hear about Jesus right from when I was a toddler. My mom says I started attending our family morning devotions right from the womb.
In Sunday school, we were taught that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of the world. That Jesus loves us and died for our sins and many other things. Although all these were true, I got used to hearing them all the time that they became like a cliché to me.
If you had asked me to tell you about Jesus in my teenage years, I would have told you all these. Not because I really knew Jesus, but because I was taught these things and I knew they were true. I hadn’t given them a second thought. Jesus hadn’t become real to me.
Fast forward to when I was approaching my twenties. I had the desire to truly know Jesus. I wasn’t satisfied with the ‘general’ knowledge. The more I studied, listened, and meditated on God’s Word, the more I came to realize that Jesus is a lot more than I thought.
Jesus isn’t just the Son of God and the Savior of the world. He isn’t just the one who occupies that exalted position unto whom all worship is due. Jesus is an actual person like you and me. Although He is God, he has a will, emotions, character, intellect, and personality. Just like you and me.
Just the same way you know your friends and their different personalities. You can also know Jesus. One peculiar thing about Jesus is that He never changes. This means that the Jesus of two thousand years ago is still the Jesus of today. So, when studying his character, it’s safe to study his life while He was on earth physically.
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Here are eleven, out of the many things the Bible reveals about Jesus character;
- JESUS IS PATIENT.
In Matthew 26: 34, 69-75, the Bible tells us of how peter denied Jesus. This was the same Peter who had professed his allegiance to Just a few hours back.
Verse 56 of the same chapter tells us of how Jesus’ disciples ran away when he was arrested. These disciples were with Jesus for three and a half years, fellowshipping with him and learning from Him, but when trouble came, they were too cowardly to suffer with Him.
Mark 14:32-42 tells us of a time when Jesus was in so much distress. This was the night that he was going to be betrayed. His soul was very sorrowful. He needed to speak with his Father and so he told his disciples to sit and wait for Him.
One would have expected the disciples to fervently pray for their master. I mean, He’d just told them that His soul was very sorrowful even unto the point of death. Yet, Jesus comes and meets them fast asleep.
Imagine all Jesus’ distress and sorrow, coupled with him seeing how unserious His disciples were. Yet in all these, Jesus remained patient with them.
The worst, in my opinion, of the disciples’ stubborn acts was in John 21:3. This was a few days after Jesus’ death. The disciples decided to go back to their former lives, to their lives before Jesus came into the picture. They decided to go back to fishing.
This was them openly showing that they’d given up on Jesus. They felt that nothing good could come out of their three and a half years spent with Jesus. Jesus was dead. All their hopes, shattered and so, they decided to go back.
But Jesus shows up in verse 4, and rather than being mad at them because of their unbelief, Jesus miraculously helped them to catch a lot of fish. Fish that they had tried all night to catch, but couldn’t.
Not just that, Jesus also prepares a meal of fish and bread for them. This a practical example of Jesus’ patience. And if He was patient with his disciples then, he is still patient with us. It doesn’t matter what we have done wrong. Jesus is not mad at us. He is very patient with us.
- JESUS IS KIND.
If I were to pen down all the times Jesus showed kindness in the Bible, I could write a whole book. But for the sake of brevity, I’ll mention a few.
In Luke 7:11-15, while Jesus was walking, He saw a dead man being carried, who had been the only son of his widowed mother. And when Jesus saw the widowed mother, His heart went out to her and He said, “Don’t cry”. And Jesus raised the man from death, putting a smile on everyone’s face.
In Matthew 8:2 and 3, a man with leprosy walks up to Jesus and says, “If You are willing, you can make me clean”. And Jesus says, “I am willing”, and immediately cleanses the man of his leprosy. Do you see that Jesus has our best interests at heart? His will for us is good, and not evil.
In Matthew 14:14, Jesus sees a large crowd following Him, and the Bible says that He had compassion on them and healed their sick. Not just that. When evening came and they were hungry, He fed them to their satisfaction (Verse 20).
We could go on and on about how Jesus put smiles on the faces of the people because of His loving kindness. Jesus is still kind today, If we go to Him, He’ll shower us with lovingkindness.
- JESUS DOES NOT ENVY.
There was a time in Jesus’ life when nobody knew Him. A time when He didn’t attract large crowds and everyone saw him as an ordinary man. This was in the days before He began His ministry.
But in this same period, His cousin, John, the Baptist was the celebrity of all time. Matthew 3:5 speaks about how large crowds gathered to see John.
Understand, that at this point, Jesus most probably knew that He had a very bright future. But as at this time, none of it had come into play.
How would the average man feel in this kind of situation, where everyone is gathering around his cousin and nobody is even giving him a second glance. You’ll agree with me that there’s a tendency for him to feel even a slight bit of jealousy.
But not Jesus.
- JESUS DOES NOT BOAST.
Picture yourself as a Bible Study teacher, for a minute. You organized a Bible Study meeting and the turn up was so large, your house couldn’t contain the attendees. Four thousand men, not counting women and children. Not just that, these attendees were so interested in what you were saying and doing that they didn’t mind staying with you for three days without eating.
How would you feel in such a situation? Many people would feel so important and probably get photographers and videographers to cover the event so they could post it on social media so that everyone would know they are growing in influence. They’ll begin to boast to their contemporaries about the large crowd they gathered and how much the crowd loved them.
But not Jesus. Matthew 15: 29-32 tells us of this same scenario happening to Jesus. But in Jesus’ case, He didn’t even need to organize a Bible Study meeting. All He needed to do was step out, and the crowd would come running after Him. that could have given Him more reason to boast, right? But look what He did.
32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Matthew 15:32
Who does that? I thought that Jesus would be grinning from molar to molar, massaging His ego, but Jesus wasn’t even thinking about his achievements, He was a lot more concerned about the well-being of the crowd. I ask again. Who does that?
- JESUS IS NOT PROUD.
Philippians 2:5-11 is one scripture that speaks on the practicality of Jesus’ humility. In my previous post on the nature of Jesus, I established the fact that Jesus is equal to God. Not God, but equal to God.
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-9
But although Jesus was in the highest place, He humbled himself and degraded himself to the level of a man. This wasn’t a small drop in status, believe me. Sometimes I think of the Baby, Jesus, how vulnerable He was. He couldn’t even protect himself. He had to depend on his parents (men) to hide Him when danger was looming; to run away with Him when Herod was after His life.
Remember, this was the same Jesus that was once in the class of God. All-powerful, majestic, and royal.
The Bible also speaks about Jesus becoming obedient to death, not just any kind of death. A criminal’s humiliating death. Death on a cross. All because He loves us. He came down for our sake.
- JESUS IS NOT RUDE.
Ever encountered a proud person who is also very wealthy? Some of these people place themselves on high pedestals and begin to look down on others. They feel they are better than others because of their achievements. For this reason, they might speak to their subordinates derogatorily because they feel they can do whatever they want because of their status.
It takes a person with character to treat his subordinates with respect. Jesus was a celebrity in His days. During his years of ministry, He encountered a lot of people who needed His help, but never for once, did the Bible record that He was mean or rude to them, on the contrary, Jesus loved and helped the people.
- JESUS IS NOT SELF-SEEKING.
39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
From Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 26:39, it was clear that He didn’t want the impending agony. He wanted to save us through another means if that was possible. But then, he said to the Father, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will”. Although Jesus’ will was different, he put his Father’s will above His own will.
30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. John 5:30
Jesus’ Words in John 5:30 also show his selflessness. He always put His will aside and did the will of the Father.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Is there any greater form of selflessness than laying down one’s life just so that another person can live? That is what Jesus did for me and you. He put our happiness above His happiness and laid down His life so that we could have that life.
- JESUS IS NOT EASILY ANGERED.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. Psalms 103:8
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being. In other words, Jesus is identical to God although they are two different persons. This means that if God is slow to anger as revealed in Psalms 103:8, then Jesus is also slow to anger.
- JESUS KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.
9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. Psalms 103:9
Psalms 103:9 tells us plainly, that God wouldn’t keep His anger forever. Jesus who is identical to God wouldn’t also do the same.
Remember how Jesus’ disciples deserted Him when He was arrested? When Jesus came back to life, he didn’t even bring up the issue. He rather prepared bread and fish and invited them to eat. He kept no record of the wrong they’d done.
What is that thing you’ve done that’s eating you up and making you feel like God is so disappointed and angry with you? All you need to do is to come to Jesus and let Him cleanse you and shower you with Love.
- JESUS DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL, BUT HE REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.
Have you noticed that Jesus was always at loggerheads with the Pharisees and Sadducees? Why was that so?
34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34
Jesus knew their hearts. He could tell they were evil. They were the complete opposites of Jesus. Jesus is not pleased with evil.
But He takes pleasure when the truth prevails. The truth prevails whenever the will of God is done. God was pleased with men like David, Abraham, Solomon, Moses, Samuel, Paul etc. why? Because they did His will and as a result, the truth prevailed. If God is pleased by such and Jesus is identical to God, then Jesus is also pleased by such.
- JESUS IS LOVE.
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. If God is love, Jesus is also love.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Above lies the Bible’s definition of love. Do you notice that all we saw above fit into this scripture?
Jesus is love personified. He loves you and longs for a relationship with you. Will you accept His invitation?