Jesus?" part 11
Macho, Macho Man
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
June 20, 2010
learned a new word this week: Vuvuzela. If you asked me last Sunday
what a Vuvuzela was, I would have had no idea. But now I do. Who here
knows what a Vuvuzela is?
If you’ve watched any of the World
Cup, it’s what all the fans are playing in the stands. And it basically
sounds like you’re about to be attacked by a swarm of bees. Here,
[VIDEO – Vuvuzela]
I’ve heard a lot of
complaining about these Vuvuzelas and how annoying they are. They’re
drowning out everything else on TV, people are turning off the games
because they can’t stand the racket, and even the players have started
to complain about being distracted by them.
I’m not sure how
much it’s affecting you, though. Because really, I don’t know of anyone
who is ever glued to their TV set watching soccer. Oh, I’m sure some
people are. Maybe you are, and I just don’t know it.
generally, soccer just isn’t a popular spectator sport here in North
America. It’s popular to play… more Canadian kids play soccer than any
other sport including hockey… but we don’t watch it. Why is that?
I have not done an exhaustive survey on the issue. But there are two
complaints that I hear more than any other, and they have nothing to do
The first complaint is that there’s not enough scoring. You can play 90
minutes and finish the game with a scoreless tie.
the second complaint is that there’s too much diving. I heard a radio
show this week where one of the hosts commented that there’s more
diving in soccer than in hockey, and the other host responded that
there’s more diving in soccer than in diving.
And we don’t like
people who take dives, do we? We thin they’re wimps or sissies. We
prefer sports like… what? Hockey! And yes, hockey has its share of
divers, too. But they’re scorned. They’re not accepted. It’s a mark of
shame to be labeled a diver. Because we like our athletes tough. We
love stories like how Bobby Baun played two games in the 1964 Stanley
Cup finals on a broken ankle, actually scoring the overtime winner in
one of the games. Or how Steve Yzerman carried his team on a bad knee
to the Stanley Cup championship in 2002.
Or if you want to go to
basketball, we love how Steve Nash took a Tim Duncan elbow to his eye,
making his eye swell up so he couldn’t even see, But he still played
that game, finishing with 20 points and 9 assists. And we point to him
and say, “Now there’s a real Canadian.”
No, we don’t have a lot
of time for sissies, do we? But do you realize that’s exactly how a lot
of people view Jesus? They think He’s a sissy… a wimp… a wuss… however
you want to put it. They picture Him as just some pansy who loved kids,
cried a lot, and talked about His feelings.
And I think we
picture Jesus that way because that’s the way we’ve described Him in
churches. We tend to focus on His compassion… His love… His care for
everyone. Basically, we emphasize His softer side. And Jesus certainly
did have those qualities. But Jesus also had a tougher side, and we
tend to neglect that side.
Here… look at some of the classic images we have of Jesus…
[PowerPoint – images of Jesus with children, holding a lamb, soft and
I’m going to give you a quote. And this is kind of a strange quote…
it’s a quote of one person quoting someone else. But I couldn’t find
the original quote, so this is what I’ve got…
Haughton points out in her book ‘Tales from Eternity’, Jesus was a
sissy. There’s no getting around it. He cried in public, He loved
flowers, He liked to play with babies, and when people came up and said
insulting things, He’d give gentle answers. Jesus was not your typical
he-man. He was singularly lacking in ‘macho.’”
~ Ralph Milton
don’t agree with that statement at all, and we’re going to talk about
why. But isn’t that the way we often present Jesus? Isn’t that the
image of Jesus so many of us have?
And here’s the thing… there
was certainly a softer side of Jesus. And it’s important for us to
remember that. His compassion was and is a great motivator for Him. He
definitely cared for people. And yes, He was known to cry on occasion.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But there was a softer side
and it’s perfectly valid for us to acknowledge that.
But we also
need to recognize that there was a tougher side. I mean, think about it
this way… who did Jesus hang around with? His disciples. And what was
one of the primary occupations of those disciples? Well, a number of
them were fishermen. Now, how many fishermen do you know that like to
hang around sissies? They’re more likely to ridicule a sissy than to
follow them and pledge their lives to them.
But Jesus appealed
to these rough and tough fishermen to the point that they left their
livelihood to follow Him and eventually gave their lives for Him.
how about this… Joseph, the father of Jesus, was a carpenter. Now, we
don’t really know for sure that Jesus worked as a carpenter, but it was
pretty common for a son to work alongside his father and learn that
trade for himself. So most people seem to accept that Jesus worked as a
carpenter until He started His earthly ministry at the age of 30.
carpenters aren’t known for being weak. They aren’t typically
considered to be pansies. They’re generally pretty strong, tough people.
talked about how He would go place to place, town to town, and often He
had no place to stay for the night. So what would He do? He’d go
camping! He was an outdoorsman. Hey, He even spent a demanding 40 days
alone in the desert. Doesn’t sound very wimpish to me.
remember what Jesus endured for us. He was flogged to within an inch of
His life with whips that had pieces of shrapnel… hunks of metal and
glass… tied into it. He had a crown of thorns pressed into His head.
After that He carried a heavy cross for a long distance until He
literally collapsed. And then to top it off, He had spikes nailed
through his wrists and His feet. He didn’t have to go through that. He
could have put and end to it at any point. But He endured it because He
knew His suffering and death was essential for us to be forgiven for
our sinfulness. So He submitted Himself to the pain of the cross. That
was not the action of a weak man.
By the way, did you know that
the word excruciating literally means “out of the cross”? What Jesus
went through was excruciating in every sense of the word.
to reduce Jesus to just some flower-loving baby-kissing meek and mild
wimp is such a disservice to Him. I’m not going to say He had a dark
side because that’s not true, but He certainly had a tough side.
in 1993, Executives at Sears Headquarters in Chicago were facing a
marketing challenge. You see, plenty of women were shopping at Sears
for hardware and tools and plumbing fixtures, and that was fine, but
the women were avoiding the women’s clothing department. Well, the
marketing experts studied the matter, and they hammered out a marketing
strategy. They developed a campaign called, “Come See The Softer Side
Of Sears”. You remember that? In fact, they developed a two page
magazine ad. One side of the ad showed a car battery and the other
showed a woman wearing a very dramatic evening dress, and the headline
quoted the woman as saying “I came in looking for a Die Hard, and left
with something drop dead.” And they looked at what magazines they
should advertise in and when to run their TV ads. In all, they spent
over $40 million on this marketing campaign. And you know what? It
worked. Sales of women’s apparel at Sears shot up dramatically.
Sears had the problem of getting people to notice the softer side. But
when it comes to Jesus, that’s the side we tend to focus on the most.
So today, on this Father’s Day, I want you to “come see the tougher
side of Jesus.”
Mark Driscoll is the pastor of a church in
Houston, and he has described how this sissified view of Jesus has bled
over into the leaders of churches and throughout the congregations.
problem with our churches today is that the lead pastor is some sissy
boy who wears cardigan sweaters, has The Carpenters dialed in on his
iPod, gets his hair cut at a salon instead of a barber shop, hasn’t
been to an Ultimate Fighting match, works out on an elliptical machine
instead of going to isolated regions of Russia like in Rocky IV in
order to harvest lumber with his teeth, and generally swishes around
like Jack from Three’s Company whenever Mr. Roper was around.”
~ Mark Driscoll
(Quoted on www.wittenburgdoor.com)
Okay, just for the record, I don’t own a cardigan. Anymore.
one of the complaints that men in particular have with the Church today
is that it’s set-up for women, it’s decorated for women, it uses terms
that appeal to women… and men can have a hard time relating.
listen… Don’t make the mistake of believing that being a
Christ-follower is about being all lovey-dovey, sappy, and
introspective. You don’t have to give up your manhood to attend church.
Jesus was not a sissy, and if we’ve portrayed Him that way then we’ve
I actually came across a blog someone had written
about this view of Jesus being a sissy, and these are some of the
comments I found below the blog…
“The Church needs Real Men who
have the same compassion yet the same CONVICTION and DETERMINATION that
Jesus and the Apostles did.”
“Sometimes the music at churches is
hard for me to sing along with because it will simply repeat all these
‘nice’ verses and phrases about ‘feeling’ God and being touched by Him.
I for one am more interested in being transformed than in being
‘touched’, and the music I am describing seems more interested in how I
feel rather than Who God is.”
“God is more than a feel good God.
He does show wrath, and vengeance, and stern love, a desire for
sacrifice, and definitely a way of discipline… I think that men may
need more of a view of that side of God than maybe the modern church
gives them…. I just think that there is a need for the warrior and the
And I agree with that. Not that Jesus is in any sense
a “sissy”, but that He does have a soft side and a tough side, and that
we need them both. We need to recognize both sides in Him, and as we
grow in our faith and become more like Him I believe we need to allow
both sides to develop in us.
You see, Jesus Himself was a
complete person. He was in touch with His feminine side without
compromising His masculine side. And He wants to help us become
complete people, too. Yes, He wants us to learn to turn the other
cheek, to build healthy relationships, to express love and
compassion… all that’s good. But He also wants to teach us to
stand up against oppression, to defend the defenseless, to get angry
when we should get angry… and so that’s the kind of thing we’re talking
about this morning.
And what I want to do is give you four ways
that Jesus calls us to become like Him, specifically in ways that show
the softer side as well as the tougher side. Beginning with…
Does Jesus Call Us to Be Like Him?
He calls us to get angry at injustice, and not just turn the other cheek
many of you used to watch The Incredible Hulk? The old one from the
late 70s/early 80s starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno? Bill Bixby, of
course played Dr. David Banner. If you want some trivia, in the comics,
the name was Bruce Banner but they changed it to David Banner for the
TV series, and one of the reason’s I’ve read about is because the
producers didn’t think “Bruce” sounded manly enough. Which is ironlic,
since Bruce Jenner had just won the Decathlon at the ‘76 Olympics in
Anyway, do you remember the catchphrase from The Incredible Hulk? What
did David Banner used to say?
“Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
~ David (Bruce) Banner, in The Incredible Hulk
Well, Jesus could get angry, too. And you wouldn’t like Him when He was
angry. At least, not when He was angry with you.
often got angry at the Pharisees… these religious experts of the day
who should have been setting an example for all the other people on how
to live pure and godly lives, but so often they got wrapped up in their
own pride and arrogance and hunger for power… they were hypocrites, and
were more concerned with their own social status than they were with
the needs of the people.
So Jesus often exchanged verbal retorts
with them. In Matthew 23, Jesus goes on a bit of a tirade against the
Pharisees. And He says some pretty strong words, such as…
Matthew 23:25-26, 33 (NLT)
sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees.
Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and
the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence!
You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and
then the outside will become clean, too. …
“Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?”
that sound like Jesus was angry? Jesus got mad at hypocrisy. But what
was really scary was when Jesus got physical. Like when He walked into
the temple, which was suppose to be this holy place reserved for prayer
and worship, and what He discovered was a marketplace. There were all
these tables set up with people selling things, the money changers were
cheating people on the exchange rate, and so Jesus took action.
John 2:15-17 (NLT)
made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He
drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins
over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the
people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here.
Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures:
“Passion for God’s house will consume me.”
to me like He was angry! Now, Jesus never lost control of His anger… He
wasn’t ruled by His emotions… and He never sinned in expressing anger.
But when it was appropriate for Him to become angry, especially over
some injustice or a violation of God’s standards of living, He wasn’t
afraid of showing that anger.
One other time we’re told that
Jesus became angry was when His disciples were telling parents to keep
their kids away from Jesus and to just leave Him alone.
Mark 10:13-14 (NLT)
day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and
bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said
to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom
of God belongs to those who are like these children.”
notice, Jesus never became angry when His own rights were violated. He
became angry when other people were being trampled on. He became angry
when He saw something that was against His Father’s will. It was never
a selfish “I’ve got my rights” kind of anger.
25 years ago
(1985), one of the pioneers of Christian rock music – Randy Stonehill –
released a song called “Angry Young Men”. Here are a few of the lyrics…
Angry Young Men
He wants some angry young men, ones who can't be bought
Ones who will not run from a fight
Ones who speak the truth whether it's popular or not
Ones who'd give up anything to walk in His light
He wants some angry young men who love the Lord they serve
Ones who'll do much more than make a speech
Ones who'll act their faith out with the passion it deserves
'Cause if we cannot live it, tell me, who are we to preach?
Rest assured when Jesus comes again
He'll be looking for some angry young men
He calls us to be transformed, not just touched
know, I love good worship music. I like to sing it, I like to listen to
it, I like to get involved in it… I like watching other people just get
absorbed in worship and raise their hands in praise and even get a
little emotional. I think all of that is a wonderful part of
worshipping God through song.
It’s nice when you feel “touched”
by a good worship song, isn’t it? And I hope you do experience that
kind of emotional connection from time to time. But I also hope you
realize that worship is not that feeling of being touched. Just because
you feel something doesn’t mean that you’re actually worshipping.
is much more than just shedding a few tears. What worship really is, is
surrendering yourself to God. It’s giving all of yourself to all of
Him. It’s allowing Him full access to your life. It’s trusting Him and
obeying Him and allowing Him to transform you from the inside out.
real sign of worship is not whether you’ve had some emotional high.
Especially because we all experience emotions differently. The true
sign of worship is that God is able to work in your life and transform
your character to become more like Him. Are you become more
Christ-like? Are you becoming more Godly?
In the first chapter
of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, God really scolds the Israelites
for offering sacrifices to Him and for burning incense and for raising
their hands in prayer and for getting all wrapped up in celebration,
while at the same time living unrepentant, self-absorbed, hypocritical,
Godless lives. And then, after railing against them for offering this
meaningless albeit emotional “worship”, He tells them this:
Isaiah 1:16-18 (NLT)
yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your
evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend
the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I
will make them as white as wool.”
What’s He talking about? He’s
talking about being transformed. The Apostle Paul wrote about this same
transformation in the New Testament when he wrote…
Galatians 6:15 (NLT)
It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts
is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.
Paul’s blunt, isn’t he? What’s he saying? He’s saying that it doesn’t
matter if you go through all the motions of worship…” remember that all
the Jewish men were required to be circumcised as an act of obedient
worship… “It doesn’t matter if you perform all the religious rituals.
It doesn’t matter if you get caught up in the emotion of it. It doesn’t
even matter if you “feel” a sense of God’s presence. All of that’s
nice, but what really counts is, ‘are you being transformed?’”
in the book of Romans, Paul adds that this transformation actually
changes your mindset, enables you to think God’s thoughts after Him,
and compels you to action…
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don’t copy the
behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a
new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know
God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Which leads us right into number 3…
He calls us to action, not just emotion
it is Father’s Day, can I be honest with you about most of us fathers?
We don’t like to sit around and talk about our feelings.
don’t know how you feel about that, but I know how I feel. But I’m not
going to tell you because I don’t like to talk about my feelings.
we’d rather be doing something. Guys, have you ever noticed that your
best friendships are formed while you’re doing things together? Going
fishing, playing video games, working on building projects, whatever.
seem to have the capability to just get together for the sake of
talking; but guys, we’re not wired like that, are we? Oh, I know I’m
talking in stereotypes. But I also think there’s some truth to that.
Well guys, there’s some good news. The Bible tells us that faith in God
is not about just getting together in Bible Study groups and talking
about our feelings… it’s about putting that faith into action.
James 2:14, 17, 24 (NLT)
good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but
don’t show it by your actions? … So you see, faith by itself isn’t
enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. … We are
shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
see, your beliefs and your actions go together. They go hand in hand.
You can’t have one without the other. You say you believe in Jesus and
have faith in Him? Great. You say you even have a relationship with
Him? Fine. But so what? How is it shown in your actions?
Deuteronomy 10:12 (NLT)
does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear
the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and
serve him with all your heart and soul.”
It’s not just about loving; it’s about serving. It’s about putting our
faith into action.
Galatians 5:13 (NLT)
you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But
don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your
freedom to serve one another in love.
He calls us to defend, not just empathize
you hear about people who have suffered loss… when you hear about
disasters that have decimated whole communities… when you hear about
someone’s rights and even their dignity being trampled on… what kind of
response does that prompt in you?
Do you feel it? Do you
empathize with the people who are suffering? Do you feel bad for them?
That’s nice, but can you take it further?
And yes, I know that
we can’t hop on a plane every time something happens in this world. But
maybe we could do it occasionally. When things happen here in
Charlottetown and people are suffering, can’t we be there for them,
defending them and protecting them and helping them out in tangible
ways… more than just feeling for them?
James 1:27 (NLT)
and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for
orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world
Not just feeling for them, but actually physically caring for them. A
verse we looked at earlier from Isaiah says…
Isaiah 1:17 (NLT)
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of
orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Now those are some manly terms, aren’t they? That’s a call to action.
right. I think we had a little bit of fun today in dealing with this
topic. But I also think that what we’ve talked about actually is
important. I think we need to recognize that men and women are wired
differently, and because of that we relate to Jesus differently.