One of the things that stands out about Jesus was just how well he understood people. First there is the obvious…the Bible says everything in creation was made through Christ (John 1:3) so it makes sense that the creator would understand his creation. What is more, Jesus became a part of the creation by taking on flesh (John 1:14) and spending time with us. That certainly helped him understand people. Third, Jesus didn’t just know regular things about people. Jesus even knew their thoughts (Mark 2:8) and knew what they would do before they even did it (John 13:21). Jesus understood people and he used that knowledge to make people feel welcome. He used that knowledge to draw people to God. I think if I had that kind of knowledge I would probably end up pushing more people away from God than drawing people to God because I probably wouldn’t have enough common sense to use that knowledge effectively.
What do we learn from that?
What do we learn from Jesus’ ability to understand the people around him? First, we aren’t going to know people’s thoughts but we can invest in people so that we really can get to know them. This is tough in ministry, especially if you minister to a large group of people. It is impossible to be best friends with 80 or even 500 to 1000 people. It just won’t work. But it is important that we learn from Jesus to be available, to be interested in others, and to invest ourselves in the lives of those we can. When we do that we also will grow to understand people better than we have before and can use that knowledge to help bring about transformation in the lives of those God has sent our way.