Recently I met a man whose real name is Real. I wondered what his mother was thinking. Then, my mind started racing. Just think – what if Mary had named her son Real Jesus? What if Real Jesus had been a guest on one of those “unmasking” TV shows so popular these days? Suddenly, I found myself unmasking the Savior!
Real Jesus is for real and not fiction. He was a flesh and blood person – not a figment of some religious traditional imagination.
He was first born into a family. He had siblings; he had chores. He started work at an early age. He was a carpenter by trade but was often found in a temple debating with scribes and Pharisees. He liked a good party. And enjoyed a good nap.
After starting His ministry, He became even more real (or unmasked?). Studying Scripture reveals even more about Real Jesus. What’s in His heart. What’s His purpose. What motivates Him. What makes Him happy.
As I dug deeper into the Word, the first thing I noted was that He honored His mother. At the Cana wedding party, even though He said it was not time to start His ministry, He obeyed her and honored her by that obedience (John 2).
John 4 tells of Real Jesus intentionally going to Samaria and talking to a woman of questionable reputation. He purposed to reach out to her, breaking tradition, and made her possibly the first woman evangelist. “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the woman who testified: “He told me all I ever did.” (John 4:39)
When the Pharisees dragged before Him a woman caught in the act of adultery, Real Jesus remained silent. He did not shame her or call her out or put her down. He wisely turned the tables on her accusers who were trying to trick Him and simply told her that He did not condemn her and to sin no more. (John 8)
In Mark 5, Real Jesus sets a demon-possessed man free. The man had been living in a cemetery, naked and in chains and shackles. When he saw Real Jesus he ran and worshipped Him. Real Jesus not only delivers and restores him, but sends him out as a new evangelist.
Another time Jesus was on his way to heal a young girl when a woman with an issue of blood crawled through the crowd just to touch His clothes to be healed because she had heard about the Real Jesus. As soon as she touched the hem of His robe she was healed. Real Jesus turned around, looked her in the eye and honored her for her faith and called her “daughter.” (MK 5: 25-34)
As his ministry grew, Real Jesus faced escalating opposition. In Mt. 12, Real Jesus picked an occasion to stand up to that religious oppression by healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath which broke the law. Real Jesus was teaching the value and worth of a man over the law.
These are just a few examples of the ministry of the Real Jesus. The are many more – all revealing the love that He had for people.
So, what did the Real Jesus want people to see and understand about who He was?
Real Jesus consistently broke with religious tradition. He called out lying, greed and hypocrisy. He never begged for followers. He did not market or promote Himself in any way. What He wanted us to see was His heart. His love covered sinners and didn’t shame them. The Real Jesus has no “throwaways.” He always gave life-changing revelation that restored all broken souls. He raised people up to a new status and actually empowered them with new life.
Real Jesus is a gentle and sensitive person, unpretentious, not looking for fame or approval. He quietly goes about fulfilling the mission that the father assigned Him. Real Jesus explains it this way: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
(If you would like to make Jesus the Lord of your life, just pray this prayer: Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Come into my heart. I make you my Lord and Savior.)