Jesus’ manner can be appreciated only in light of a deeper river flowing in him, this fierce intentionality. Otherwise, you get those popular and ridiculous portraits of Jesus as the wandering storyteller, no more controversial or dangerous than a clerk in a health-food store.
“The life of Jesus went as swift and straight as a thunderbolt,” wrote Chesterton, “almost in the manner of a military march; certainly in the manner of the quest of a hero moving to his achievement or his doom.”5 And in the most beautiful turn of events, the hunted becomes the Hunter indeed, as Jesus crucified descends into hell personally, to demand the keys from Satan. What was that journey like? Far more than a twilight walk to a cottage. He faces a creature way more terrifying than anything you’ve met in your nightmares and makes him bend the knee. Then Jesus simply turns and walks back out again, leading a train of rescued captives with him.