Over the past several weeks I have watched an advertising campaign about Jesus. It comes from the website: Hegetsus (https://hegetsus.com/en/about-us). On their about us page the creators state the following: “He Gets Us is a movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness.” The information on the website encourages visitors to examine the experiences of our Savior’s life and how they still have relevance for us today.
The two stories shared in the commercial remind me of how wondrously amazing Jesus’ time on earth was. One informs us that he was a refugee, the other is about those with whom he broke bread. I look forward to other ads which will share some of Jesus’ life experiences.
Last week, we celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord. This is one of my favorite passages in Scripture. I never tire of retelling the story of the Magi who traveled far from their homes to meet the King of Kings. I wonder if he looked different from other children. The Gospels do not provide us with a description of Jesus’ appearance at his birth, as a young child, or even when he was speaking in the Temple when he was twelve.
And yet, somehow all who saw him and heard him recognized that he was different from anyone they had ever met. His royal status as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords should’ve had him being raised in a palace, waited on by servants, never worrying about what clothes he would wear, what foods he would eat, and how others would respect and honor him.
That was not the path he chose for our salvation. He came to walk the paths of our lives and to experience the world as we do so that we would understand how much we are loved by our Lord and Savior. The Gospels don’t contain some of the human milestones we celebrate. There is no record of Jesus’ first steps, or what his first word might’ve been. Did he ever ask the 4 questions which were part of the Seder meal? When did he first read from the Torah and what passage was it?
We know that Jesus’ steps led him all over the nation of Israel and beyond as he brought the living word of God to all who would hear him. He asked those who would follow him, as well as those who challenged him, questions about what it meant to be a child of God. He offered words of grace, forgiveness, and love. During his life, he brought new meaning to the words of the Torah, helping to write the laws of God, not on parchment, but on our hearts.
Sometimes when we focus on the ways in which our Savior was and is fully divine, we can forget that he is also fully human. He wept at the death of his friend Lazarus and when he entered Jerusalem. He attended the wedding of family friends. He was sometimes hungry and had no place to sleep. He needed to be alone from time to time to speak with God and renew his spirit. He sometimes became angry and frustrated by those who heard him but didn’t understand him. He prayed often and shared meals with friends and strangers. He saw people for who they were and did not chastise, criticize, or condemn them. Instead, he blessed them, embraced them, and forgave them.
Because he gets us. Each day he hopes that you and I will celebrate what it means to have Jesus in our lives as we continue our journeys of faith. May we continue to discover the ways that our Lord and Savior, both fully human and divine, came into the world to save us and transform us. And Amen.