You may have seen the Dos Equis beer commercials that feature the most interesting man alive. His charm is so infectious that vaccines have been developed just for it. Whereas many guys have tattoos saying “Mother,” his mother bears a tattoo saying “Son.” Unlike many men, if he had a feminine side, he would show it. His legend is so great that it goes before him like lightning before thunder.
Sometimes you get the impression that Jesus is framed as the most interesting man alive or the strongest man alive or the smartest man alive. Was Jesus the strongest man alive, the smartest man alive, the most interesting man alive? What epitomized Jesus’ greatness?
According to the doctrine of Spirit-Christicism, Jesus chose not to exercise such attributes as omnipotence and omniscience in his human state; rather, he depended on the Spirit in all things. He provides us an example to follow; more than that, he shares his life which we are called to participate in through the Spirit. Jesus may not have leaped tall buildings in a single bound or bent steel bars with two fingers (though he could have done so, if he wished…). He probably didn’t ace all of his mathematics or physics exams growing up. He may not have been voted the most likely person to succeed in his graduating class or most handsome since he had no majesty or beauty to attract us to him (Isaiah 53:2). However, I do know he was hailed as “demon-possessed and mad” (John 10:20).
Was Jesus the most interesting person alive? It depends on what you mean. I do know he was the most relational, as he depended on the Father in the Spirit, as he cared for those for whom no one else cared, as he put our needs above his own.
One can learn a lot about what others esteem based on how they view Jesus. I have had a hard time over the years coming to terms with him because I have often wanted him to be what I need him to be for my own growth and advancement. Grievously, I have often approached Jesus according to worldly standards of power and wisdom and wealth of personality and a host of other things (See Jeremiah 9:23-24; cf. 1 Corinthians 1, including verse 31). As I grow older, I am learning that “truth is relational” is really true. Relational truth is more powerful than brute force, more wise than a mental warehouse of facts, and more beautiful and interesting than dazzling charm. Like me, you may find that Jesus epitomizes relational truth, but will we desire to pursue him even when the other “truths” of Rambo Jesus, Einstein Jesus or Dos Equis Jesus compete for our attention? You and I don’t have to drink beer to feel a buzz when confronted with these alternatives. The only way to stay sober and make the right choice is to be filled with Christ’s love. Stay relational, my friends.