One Sunday night the entire church was watching I Can Only Imagine, a biopic about the lead singer of Mercy Me. Sitting at a table with friends, I remarked that I wanted to smack his dad upside the head. Because a Gibb’s Smack is the answer to a lot of things.
Kee looked at me and said, ‘….masculinity’ when she described his dad. Confused, I asked what?
Louder, she said, “hypermasculinity”.
Still confused, and that’s why you should have smart friends so you can learn stuff-I asked what was that.
‘Hypermasculinity as opposed to hyper Christian masculinity; love God, obey, no love is greater than this which is to give your life for your friends. Jesus is the ideal we strive for.’
That stayed in the back of mind for a couple of days. I surveyed the action-packed Gospel of Mark for the manliness of Jesus and found 23 examples.
The Manliness of Jesus
- Jesus showed extreme self-control by fasting for 40 days in the desert while resisting Satan in his weakened state. A few of us would sell our soul when we are hangry.
- Jesus confronted evil spirits and rescued people (Mark 1:21-28). Would you dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
- He healed the sick.
- He would go where others refused to go in order to save people. What one place would you never go, even if you could save someone there? (Mark 2:13-17)
- He confronted wrong attitudes in people unwilling to help others (Mark 3:1-6).
- He could read people.
- He made time for those that other people or society ignore (Mark 5:21-35). Who are the people in your life that get ignored?
- He takes care of his team (Mark 6:30-32).
- He has compassion on and fed the hungry (Mark 6:33-44). Have you fed a hungry stranger?
- He confronted the self-righteous.
- He has compassion on and fed the untouchables with food (Mark 8:1-10). It’s one thing to help your people, what about those who are outside your race, class, or culture?
- He was unafraid to have hard conversations with his friends when they were wrong (Mark 8:31-33).
- He refused to sell out or compromise his integrity (Mark 8:34-38). What’s your price?
- He loves those that culture looks down upon (Mark 8:36-37, 10:13-16, 10:46-52, Lepers). When you see another person, do you see them as a person with struggles and dreams, or as an inconvenience?
- He served others while leading them (Mark 10:35-45).
- He was willing to die for others (Mark 10:45). The heroic sacrifice is the staple of a lot of action movies.
- He is angry and confronts anyone who kept others from worshipping God (Mark 11:12-19). You can tell a lot about a person when you see what makes them angry.
- He evaded traps with ease, even trapping his would-be trappers.
- He was on guard and always alert (Mark 13:32-37).
- He stood up for and protected women. Who do you stand up for?
- He faced the cross with fear and courage. Courage isn’t the absence of fear but doing something despite fear.
- He isn’t a respecter of persons, treating everyone equally and fairly, from the ‘least’ to the ‘greatest’. How do we tend to treat those in the service industries? What would happen if we treated our boss like that?
- He obeyed God completely.
It reminds me of Micah 6:6:
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
On the cross, Jesus was the Lamb of God, the once and forever sacrifice for us. He spent his time on earth like the Lion of Judah; but not for his gain, instead using that strength to help others and stand up for what’s right. His goal is, the same now as then, to save as many as possible.
What’s a manly man look like? Like this.