No, Jesus wasn't a pansy. Of course. But, like they say on ESPN's NFL show: C'mon, man.
"Latte-sipping Cabriolet drivers do not represent biblical masculinity, because real men -- like Jesus, Paul, and John the Baptist -- are dudes: heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes. In other words, because Jesus is not a limp-wristed, dress-wearing hippie, the men created in his image are not sissified church boys; they are aggressive, assertive, and nonverbal."
That's the opinion of Mark Driscoll, who's a well-hyped pastor, author, opinion-shaper, and rabble-rouser. I loves me some rabble-rousing, and I really enjoy discussing who Jesus really is, but... Mark is wrong. (And if you don't like it, Mark, bring it on, big boy. You'll probably whip me, but I swing a mean accordion. Plus, and I normally wouldn't say this, but since we're being "assertive": I'm very likely stronger and fitter than you. Man, is it ever getting junior high in here.)
We don't get to make Jesus in our image, or in our favorite image, either, even if we love Ultimate Fighting. "Nonverbal"? Jesus? Really? Who says? Oddly, if Christ-like-ness means "nonverbal", Driscoll might want to repent of his famous 1.5 hour sermons. And all those books.
"Punch-you-in-the-nose"...? Which Biblical book did you find that one in, Rock? First Ecclesians?
As Alan Hirsch points out, painting Jesus as a harmless, other-worldly, feminized being is one mistake. We don't need to make another false image, even if it's a corrective one. And, like Hirsch says, it's tough to reconcile the idea of a "nonverbal" Jesus with the truth that he is the Living Word.
Driscoll says the Jesus of the Bible has "big biceps". Maybe. We don't know. He was a carpenter, true. But he probably didn't take any GNC supplements. And, honestly, what's the point? If his arms were big, does that make you think more highly of Jesus?
I suspect our need to do this, to make an issue out of it, may actually serve to reduce Him. You see, his power doesn't come from 22-inch biceps. Sorry. You fear Jesus, you fear God, because HE CAN DESTROY YOUR BODY AND SOUL IN HELL. In comparison, a roundhouse kick to the face seeems downy soft.
So, let's use Driscoll's own argument, and say, in other words... if Jesus's power doesn't come from his biceps, then ours doesn't either.
Oh yes, Jesus is looking for manly men. Yes. Guys who fix stuff, lift weights, love football, and say few things. And, so far as I can tell, he's also looking for men who hate football, enjoy a latte, express themselves with words, and got picked on their whole lives for not being manly enough. If that's you, well, guess what: He's looking for you, too. And -- by the way -- he's also looking for women. He's telling us all, non-Ultimate Fighters, included -- the big mess of us -- to follow Him. And guess what? We can.
As Brandon O'Brien in Christianity Today put it: "Paul makes no distinction between masculine and feminine fruits of the Spirit." One Christian men's movement says we are to be "brash and offensive". Well, okay, to be "brash", I guess: What part of "patience" and "gentleness" and "self-control" do you guys just not get?
Yes, Jesus was a man. The Ultimate Man, with guts. And we should be men who have guts, too. Guts!
So let's have the guts to look at him as he is, rather than our little-boy ideas about what manhood is all about.