Reflections

Extra Extra! Jesus Was So Extra!

By December 12, 2019 No Comments

Jesus wasn’t basic.  He was extra. In fact, a word like extraordinary, while accurate, doesn’t quite capture the level of his extra-ness with any real depth.  The word extraordinary (extra + ordinary) is rooted in latin. Extra means outside or beyond, and ordinary means usual. So something that is extraordinary is above, beyond, or outside the usual.  And Jesus was just that! But probably not in the way that most people think about it today.  

Consider what Isaiah prophesied about Jesus. He said that Jesus would have no beauty about him that would attract us to him (Isaiah 53:2).  In other words, Jesus would be ordinary in his appearance. As far as we can tell, when he finally came to us, and then grew to be a man, there was nothing physically imposing about him.  There was nothing particularly handsome, alluring or magnificent about his looks. Even his job as a simple carpenter was something quite ordinary in his day (Mark 6:3). One can assume for very large portions of his life, perhaps for most of his life, he did very ordinary things, like work, eat, sleep, walk, and even weep (John 11:35). Weeping may have even been something rather common to him. After all, Isaiah said that he would be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3).  

So by no means was Jesus outstanding or extraordinary by most of the metrics we use today. Instead, Jesus was extraordinary as measured by his quiet discipline.  That discipline created an extraordinary spiritual life centered on a worship of God, and a living out of the principles that God gave to him during those moments of study and worship.  In that discipline, he gained strength. That strength came from having the word of God so firmly established inside his head and heart, that when he was led into the desert to be tempted by Satan, that word flowed from him, and stopped the Devil’s power at every temptation. 

But perhaps the greatest portion of his extra-ness came in the form of his obedience.  Because he had an extraordinary love for both God and people, he obeyed his father’s plan all the way to the cross, and suffered an extraordinary death.  On the surface, Jesus was an ordinary man in so many ways. In his heart he was extraordinary. And that changed the course of history. If you are an ordinary person, you possess the potential to do extraordinary things.  Just follow the example of the most extra person in history. 

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