††††††††††† Any guy today who thinks it is weakness to follow Jesus has another thing coming.†† Jesus was a manís man, a macho man.


LUMBER JACK:Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3).He had to go up into the hills where the trees were and chop the trees down with brute strengthThen he had to put a chain or rope around them and get them back to Nazareth possibly pulled by oxen, or cut them in manage-able sections, heave them on a wagon, and get them home that way.††


††††††††††† SURVIVER:The people on the TV show have nothing on Jesus.He went into a desert and had nothing at all to eat for over a month ~ 40 days to be exact.†† Not only that, but there was no one to talk to, and nothing to do but think.He walked into that desert on his own strength, and he walked out the same way.See Matthew 4:1-2.


††††††††††† MANAGER:Ever try to make twelve guys get along when many of them were opposites?Peter was often impetuous (Matt. 14:28) while Thaddeus was so quiet the Bible only mentions his name (Mark 3:18).Nathaniel believed whatever people told him (John 1:47) while Thomas doubted what people told him (John 20:25).Matthew was a tax collector for the occupation government (Matt. 9:9) while Simon the Zealot was part of a movement to run the occupiers out (Matt. 10:2).Tradition says that James the Less renounced all worldly possessions, while Judas Iscariot loved money (John 12:4-6).Andrew went to get his brother so he could convert him to Jesus, while John wanted to call fire down on a town that didnít immediately accept Jesus (Luke 9:53f).Philip was sought out by Grecian outsiders (John 12:21) while James tried to get rid of outsiders (Mark 9:38).But Jesus had superior management skills, and they got along.


††††††††††† WHISTLE BLOWER:Itís easier to look the other way, keep the bosses happy, and keep your job.Not Jesus.He saw bank fraud right on the Temple grounds among the priests and Levites.Worshippers would bring their Roman money to be exchanged for Temple money so they could buy at exorbitant prices their animals to sacrifice.Jesus called them thieves, single handedly knocked over their tables, drove out the crooks, and stood alone at the entry to refuse admission to any merchants wanting to sell goods there (Mark 11:15f).


††††††††††† SOLDIER:†† A good soldier knows who his enemy is.Jesus never once believed God was his enemy and Satan his friend, like happened in the Garden of Eden long ago (Genesis 3:1-5), like happened in Jesusí lifetime, and like often happens today.He saw through Satanís disguise as an angel (II Corinthians 11:15).One time, for example, in a period of physical weakness, the enemy infiltrated and tried to get him to defect.But he saw through the ruse and attacked his enemy (Luke 4:3-13).And never once did Jesus attack God.


PRIZE FIGHTER:The religious leaders loved to spar with Jesus and try to deck him.But he took the fight seriously.The religious leaders were greedy for the peopleís money (Luke 11:39) and Jesus exposed them and hit them where it hurt.The religious leaders did their religious ceremonies properly, but didnít even love God (Luke 11:42) and Jesus exposed them and hit them where it hurt.The religious leaders craved the important seats at places of worship, and special greetings in the community, and Jesus exposed them and hit them where it hurt.The religious leaders demanded things of their congregation that they wouldnít even do themselves (Luke 11:46) and Jesus exposed them and hit them where it hurt.The religious leaders refused to study the Bible honestly and hindered anyone else who would (Luke 11:52) and Jesus exposed them and hit them where it hurt.


GENTLEMAN PROTECTOR:Jesus never attacked his family or friends.He watched out for their welfare.He fed them (Luke 9:10-17),took care of their illnesses (Luke chap. 7, 8, etc.), and talked to them firmly but gently (sometimes with stories) about how to get along with each other (Luke 6:17-48) as a family.


††††††††††† RUNNING BACK:He knew how to make the touchdown.When Jesus saw that his work on earth was nearly done, he knew the next play was his torturous death in Jerusalem.Despite all those who tried to get in his way, he charged through the lines.Luke 9:51 says, ďAs the time drew nearÖhe moved steadily onward toward Jerusalem with an iron willĒ (LBV).When Peter said heíd never let him die, Jesus dodged that statement (Matt. 16:22f).When people in a village refused to let him spend the night there, he dodged that (Luke 9:52f).When he was on trial and told to recant, he dodged that temptation (Matthew 26:63f).†† Nothing or no one could keep him from his goal.


HERO:Jesus had mental stamina and emotional doggedness.†† He was first tortured by flogging.He was taken through the streets to be made fun of and shouted at.He was beaten with chunks of metal tied along a whip.Again he was made fun of and shouted at.Finally he was nailed to a pole and left there to die, enduring blood loss, dehydration, shock, exposure, and finally heart failure.He could have stopped the whole process.But he knew it was necessary to save us from our sins.And so he became our hero.


Have you been a hero lately?