You might think that keeping Jesus all mysterious and heavenly is the proper thing to do, but consider this: When he came, he came as presented in the Gospels—very much human, a person, a man, with a very distinct personality. This is the primary witness we have of him, recorded for all who would know him. This is how he chooses to make himself known. This is the “self” he presents to us. Be careful you don’t push him away with your religious delicacies.

“Jesus was so obviously human,” notes Eugene Peterson, “but this has never been an easy truth for people to swallow. There are always plenty of people walking around who will have none of this particularity: human ordinariness, bodily fluids, raw emotions of anger and disgust, fatigue and loneliness.” Did you think Gethsemane was the only time he sweat? Or maybe we assume his sweat smelled like lilies? And what is with the snowy white robe? Every movie I’ve seen costumes Jesus in an immaculate white robe. He never got dirty? Those were not paved roads he walked for miles.

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