Jesus Understood People, What Do We Learn From That?

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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.

3 Responses

  1. I work at a large church. That leads me to be less relational just from a time aspect. But what I have found myself doing is investing in a few people who will work with others. IGod allowed me to take a coaching class last year that helped me see how coaching was different from simply encouraging. I have about eight people that I coach and they coach others. That means they can connect with 64 (in a perfect world…)
    Although Jesus loved people and understood people deeply, but those people still needed significant time with Him. Hence he takes the 12 and focuses so much attention and training on them. And once he died, was resurrected and the Spirit came, it was a 12 fold investment! If we focused on that instead of programs, it would change the world. But that is HARD to do in an established American church. This isn’t the model that I received. But God is slowly showing me how.

    1. What you wrote there is central to the disciplilng movements that are happening right now throughout the world. People have looked at Jesus’ discipling model and have tried to replicate it to some degree, spending more time with less people with the idea that they can be trained to go and do that with others = the same multiplying approach Jesus used to reach a huge part of the known world in a single generation. There is a ton of merit to what you are saying.

      I think also there is a micro and macro level here…kind of like zooming out and zooming in. We have to zoom out at times and spend time with the crowds (macro/zoom out) and we have to zoom in with the few (zoom in/micro). Both are necessary, just as Jesus used and embraced both. We just have to be wise with how much time we spend in each. Added to that is time alone and time with family. Quite the balancing act! This takes wisdom for sure.

    2. Yes, the macro is good and sometimes leads to powerful opportunities (and many times we will never even know) and the micro is important too. I strongly urge men and women to meet in micro single gender groups (of 3-4) to deal specifically and consistently with sexuality and relationships.
      And as you say it is quite a challenge to find the balance. But we all discipline our lives according to our true priorities. And with phones and video we can connect in all kinds of ways not possible before now.

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