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Humble Beginnings

Unlike many of the most influential heroes of history, Jesus was not born to wealthy parents with a silver spoon in his mouth. He wasn’t born in a hospital or even at home, but in an indoor barn or cave. In fact, the best Joseph and Mary could do for a cradle was a feeding trough (Luke 2:7). When the time came to offer the firstborn sacrifice at the temple, they could not afford the standard lamb but instead had to offer the alternative poor man’s sacrifice of two turtle doves (Luke 2:24; Lev 12:8). It is one thing for someone who has every advantage—an expensive education, access to power, and every comfort—to succeed in life, but for someone born to an obscure couple, from an obscure hamlet, in an obscure province without any of the advantages money and status could provide to change the world in a mere thirty years of life—now that is impressive! Jesus’ life is so significant that thousands of years later we count dates from him forward (A.D.) and from him backward (B.C.). He is the hinge, the one at whom the calendar resets, the one who changed everything.

Brilliant

As Jesus grew up, he “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). He was something of a child prodigy, able to comprehend and interact with the complex theological world of first century Judaism and discourse intelligently with the teachers in the temple (Luke 2:46). Not only was he listening to them, but he was also asking them questions such that “they were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47). Later on, Jesus would continue to evidence an acute knowledge of the Bible the variety of ways his contemporaries were interpreting it. He had a knack for comprehending an issue and penetrating through the surface details to the real heart of the matter. He had no difficulty going toe to toe with trained religious experts out in the country and in the big city (Luke 20:26). People marveled at his acumen and boldness, for never had they seen anyone confront the scribes as Jesus did.

Authority

Even so, his humble origins and brilliance only begin scratching the surface of Jesus’ greatness. He was also a man of unprecedented authority. We can see examples of great prophets who fearlessly rebuked kings and called the people to repent, but with Jesus, a whole new level of authority surfaces. One time, he was teaching in a synagogue, and someone expectantly popped up and blurted out, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the holy one of God!” (Mark 1:24). This shocking interruption did not overwhelm or confuse Jesus. He confronted the man head on, rebuking him with the words, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” I can just imagine the worshippers sitting there on the edges of their seats, not sure what to think. Immediately, the man fell to the ground and began convulsing. Suddenly, a demonic shriek sprang forth, and the unclean spirit left him. The spectators asked, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him” (Mark 1:27). Jesus was a man of authority. He knew he was the Messiah, the one God destined to rule the whole world, and he didn’t shrink back from a good spiritual fight.

Life Coach

Jesus was also the supreme life coach. His magisterial and imminently practical Sermon on the Mount is chockfull of simple, clear commandments to live by (Mat 5-7). It was Jesus who coined the golden rule: “…treat people the same way you want them to treat you” (Mat 7:12) and made up the story of the Good Samaritan—a story so inspiring that many hospitals have taken it as their name (Luke 10:30-36). Though we live in an age where self-improvement books proliferate, lining shelf after shelf in local bookstores, Christ has already cornered the market and still remains the most popular and relevant guru. He is backed by the countless testimonials of alcoholics, drug addicts, narcissists, adulterers, pornography addicts, and sinners of every stripe who tell story after blessed story of how God’s salvation coupled with Christ’s teachings have resulted in peace, joy, and healing.

Healer

Of course, Jesus was also a prolific healer. He healed people from blindness, leprosy, fevers, demonic oppression, lameness, dropsy, deafness, epilepsy, among other maladies. Several times, he even raised someone from the dead, healing them from the most serious condition of all. Sometimes when he arrived at a town, the sick and suffering lined up outside the house, and Jesus would heal them all (Mat 8:16). My favorite healing was when he interrupted a funeral procession and told the grieving mother to stop crying. No doubt at that moment, the shear shock of Jesus’ intrusion must have caused bewilderment among the onlookers. But, before anyone could say anything, he commanded the dead child, the only son of his widowed mother, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” (Luke 7:14). And he did! Jesus had come across a devastating human tragedy and was not content to pass by without doing something. He was not about to let this suffering take place on his watch; he got involved and reversed the effects of sickness, bringing life out of death.

Approachable

Having the ability to heal the sick, raise the dead, and command demons to leave did not go to Jesus’ head. Although he had immense authority, he was not arrogant. He did not insulate himself from the unwashed masses by layers of go-betweens to buffer him. In fact, Jesus searched out the lowly and preached to them. He commonly went to the no-name villages and taught the poor farmers and fishermen. He was called “a friend of tax-collectors and sinners” (Mat 11:19). Jesus’ holiness was not fragile, as if he could be tainted by merely brushing up against sin. He possessed a robust righteousness such that he could spend time with the unrighteous without falling into temptation. He reached out to the prostitute and the leper, the outcasts of society, to bring them healing and restoration.

Sociable

In addition, Jesus loved going to dinner parties. From the wedding of Cana (John 2:1-11) to the reception Levi threw for him with his tax-collecting buddies (Luke 5:29-32) to the dinner at Simon the Pharisee’s house (Luke 7:36-50), Jesus frequently spent time with people around a table. So often did Jesus accept invitations that his critics called him a “glutton and a drunkard” (Luke 7:34). Of course, he was neither an overeater nor drunk, but he was someone who enjoyed life. Although he did fast on occasion, he wasn’t an ascetic who constantly invented ways to punish himself as if the simple pleasures of life were inherently evil. No, Jesus was the kind of person who would come over for dinner.

Courageous

Jesus was also incredibly courageous. Throughout his life, in many heated situations he never wimped out or backed down. In fact, several times his listeners picked up stones and nearly pelted him to death. When he was arrested and stood face to face with the most powerful Jewish leader of the time—Caiaphas—he didn’t flinch. When the high priest directly asked him if he was the Messiah, Jesus replied, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mat 26:64). When the religious leaders handed him over to Pilate seeking the death penalty, Jesus did not equivocate for a moment. At one point, the Roman governor shouted, “You do not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you, and I have authority to crucify you?” Jesus retorted, “You would have no authority over me, unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:10-11). No one talked to Pilate like this—no one except Jesus.

Human

But even if he had the courage of a lion, he was a real human being who had parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. He so blended in that Judas had to signal who he was with a kiss (Mark 14:44). One of the most chilling moments when Jesus’ humanity was so apparent came when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. The time had drawn near for his arrest, and he fell on his face, earnestly entreating his God, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will” (Mat 26:39). This he did three times with such agony that he was sweating profusely (Luke 22:44). Like any man, he didn’t want to be falsely accused; he didn’t want to be spat upon; he didn’t want to be ridiculed; he didn’t want to be beaten; and he certainly didn’t want to die.

Compassionate

However, Christ’s own impulse for self-preservation was trumped by his willingness to yield to God in total obedience. What he would go through would benefit others, a whole lot of others. Even before the crucifixion—the supreme example of Jesus caring for others—he had constantly reached out in compassion. For example, when the crowds had continued with him for several days, Jesus felt for them. He knew they were hungry, and that if he sent them away, some of the weaker ones may faint on the way (Mark 8:1-2). This was the motive for multiplying the loaves and the fish. His healings were motivated by sympathy as was his whole ministry. So, when it came to dying for the sins of the world, Jesus kept right on loving, serving, and caring. He did not suffer and die for his own sins, for he was sinless. Rather, he cared for us—those who would one day respond in faith—so much that he willingly volunteered to pay the ultimate price to rescue us from this present evil age, sin, and the wrath of God (Gal 1:4; 1 Pet 2:24; Rom 5:9). When he finally breathed his last, he died not with bitterness and resentment poisoning his heart but with love and trust (1 Pet 2:21-23).

Absolute Trust

In order to go through with God’s plan of redemption, Jesus had to have absolute trust and faith in God. Although we are all so used to the idea that Jesus died for our sins, it could not have been easy for him in the moment. He had so many opportunities to abort the plan. He could have run away in the Garden of Gethsemane before the soldiers arrived; he could have denied that he was the Messiah when the high priest asked; he could have done a miracle for Herod so that he would rescue him; he could have worked with Pilate and disputed his accusations; he could have come off the cross when the spectators, the soldiers, and the criminal next to him dared him to. But he didn’t. He stayed on that cross and committed himself to God, come what may. He held firmly to God’s promise to raise him from the dead on the third day (Mat 16:21; 17:23; 20:19). He was a man of incredible faith.

Still Alive

I have one last reason to share as to why Jesus is great: he is alive. Jesus is not dead. After God raised him from the dead, he exalted him to his right hand in heaven. Today, Christ continues to baptize in the spirit (Mark 1:8; Acts 2:33), advocate as the high priest (Heb 2:18; 4:15), bring healing (Acts 9:34), and lead his church as the head (Col 1:18; Eph 4:16). He always lives to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25). Not only that, but Jesus will return one day to resurrect the people of God and establish God’s Kingdom on earth (1 Cor 15:21-28). As God’s representative, he will labor to make right everything wrong with the world. He will establish an age of peace, wholeness, regeneration, fellowship with God, joy, immortality, and love. I long for this day. Maranatha—come, Lord Jesus! (1 Cor 16:22; Rev 22:20).

36 Responses to “Twelve Reasons Why Jesus Is Awesome”

  1. on 23 Aug 2012 at 1:34 pmMike Gantt

    I share your admiration for Jesus Christ. I’d only add that while your list of reasons for admiring Him is considerable, you’ve only scratched the surface. Dig deeper, and see that worship is the only appropriate response.

  2. on 23 Aug 2012 at 3:17 pmSean

    What I wrote was worship.

  3. on 23 Aug 2012 at 5:50 pmSarah

    Thank you Sean, this beautifully sums up my new perspective on Jesus since the trinitarian fog was lifted. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

  4. on 23 Aug 2012 at 9:09 pmDoubting Thomas

    Yes. Thank-you Sean. It is a great article and I agree that what you wrote is a form of worship… 🙂

  5. on 25 Aug 2012 at 8:19 pmPatricia Byrne

    Thank you Sean for this great article and your corresponding teaching on “Unashamed” and yes thinking of Jesus, his awesome life will help us to stay faithful until the end.
    2 Timothy 1:12: “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”

  6. on 25 Aug 2012 at 10:45 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Patricia,
    I don’t remember you posting here before, so welcome to K.R.!!! I think you find that there are a lot of good articles on this site. I hope you have a blessed and inspiring Sunday tomorrow… 🙂

  7. on 27 Aug 2012 at 12:21 amSheryl

    Sean, thank you for a beautiful, moving and inspirational devotion to the man you love, and for showing us the reasons we love him too. Our Father in Heaven must be well pleased that you have reminded us why His Son is so worthy of praise. Halleluia! Praise to our God, and to our Lord and King, Jesus.

  8. on 25 Apr 2013 at 7:53 pmTony

    Jesus is awesome!!!

  9. on 25 Nov 2013 at 10:11 amAbbie

    I wanna be like Jesus!!!!!!!

  10. on 29 Nov 2013 at 10:55 pmElisabeth

    Thank you I love Jesus so much He’s so awesome!!!💞❤️

  11. on 04 Feb 2014 at 11:11 amSusmitha

    Thanks for this…… Truly…. Jesus is tooooo awesome…. <3

  12. on 05 Feb 2014 at 2:01 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Sean – read this a long time ago and came upon it again today in an hour where I was angry and frustrated and not feeling very Godly. This is a wonderful tribute and it helped restore perspective to me as well. I have saved it and plan to re-read it periodically.

  13. on 24 Feb 2014 at 9:05 pmJesse

    What did jesus sacrifice? He was in hell for 3 days and now he is in paradise forever? How is this a sacrifice exactly?

  14. on 26 Feb 2014 at 3:22 amHayden

    I mean who else can rise from the dead, praise The Lord

  15. on 18 Mar 2014 at 11:57 pmella

    i am very young and am a follower of jesus and think he is amazballs.

    i typed up jesus and there was this website that said 52 things about jesus that proves hes fake. I didnt believe a word.

  16. on 23 Mar 2014 at 10:30 amRay

    Jesus knows what it is to be among the poor, to go without, (Luke 4:2) and to abound, and then to give it all up. He certainly knows what it is to suffer. He knows better than any man born, what it is to love, to be faithful, and to be obedient to God.

    And at the cross…when I think about the cross..

    I can’t help but think that he knew the sense and feelings of guilt when he took the consequences of our sins upon himself.

    And he knows more than any of us what it is to forgive.

  17. on 14 Nov 2014 at 11:31 amMachell Jackson

    I just wanted to take the time out of my not so busy schedule, to say my Jesus Christ, is so loving, so caring, so giving, and so patient.

  18. on 18 Nov 2014 at 3:27 pmRay

    Great Article! Thank you!

  19. on 04 Dec 2015 at 2:49 pmJohnny Mark

    Y’all need to see this. Jesus has turned me

  20. on 14 Dec 2015 at 9:52 amZerlinda

    this is amazing. Jesus is great. He is our saviour 🙂

  21. on 15 Dec 2015 at 9:20 amSAM

    Truly, Jesus is awesome. He is the Lord and Savior. Why He is awesome is because, He is God Almighty, In John 10:30, Jesus says “I and My Father are one”. To Moses, He said I AM that I AM. In Hebrews 13:8, it is mentioned Jesus is same yesterday, today and forever. At Matthews end, He says I AM with you until end of ages. In Rev 3, He says, I AM the AMEN who was there from beginning of the Creation of God. God who is beyong time and space but who broke the time period into two as BC and AD. Truly Awesome.. Praise you Lord JESUS CHRIST.

  22. on 26 Dec 2015 at 6:02 pmNancy

    I also think Jesus had a sense of humour. In one instance He wonders why His disciples are worried that they didn’t bring enough bread after He compared the Pharisees to the yeast in bread. In another case he basically says “how long do I have to put up with you people” when they couldn’t drive out demons. I think He must have had a sense of humour to deal with the frustration that He must have felt dealing with regular people.

  23. on 28 Dec 2015 at 11:53 amDaniel

    A wonderful article

  24. on 16 Feb 2016 at 5:51 amnonaliseko

    jesus is indeed a hero.he is above all.he deserves the best

  25. on 07 Jul 2016 at 11:40 pmGemechu

    Jesus is awesome

  26. on 26 Jul 2016 at 11:22 pmEnil

    An inspiring article. Thanks. I love Jesus.

  27. on 16 Oct 2016 at 3:50 amKatherine

    Jesus is awesome and I love him.

  28. on 29 May 2017 at 12:21 amWade

    Jesus is everything I long to be. I can’t wait to be with him! Thank you for the encouragement. Jesus is awesome and I love him so so much

  29. on 14 Aug 2017 at 4:51 pmben

    Jesus is awesome and his beloved mother too.
    praise the lord
    amen ,Jesus king of the universe

  30. on 10 Sep 2017 at 11:13 amJimmy

    Jesus changed my life over and over again!!. Don’t believe me just take 10 mins out your day and put your ego to the side and tell him how you feel, tell him what you want and then ask for forgiveness. Believe and watch him work.

  31. on 13 Jan 2018 at 11:54 amLauren

    May the LORD ever be lifted high. Not only did He die for us… guys, He lived for us! He left His perfectly-deserved home of complete and utter paradise to hang out with us in the “slum” of sin and shame. He was tempted and went through all of the hardships that we are still facing today. And what’s more… HE OVERCAME IT ALL FOR US!!! Put your trust in Christ today, give your heart over to Him, and watch Him work in your life forevermore. I want to see you with me in Heaven some day, I care fir your eternity more than any other earthly factor. Become a child of GOD today!!! “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” – John 1:12-13. May GOD bless all of you. AMEN.

  32. on 22 Feb 2018 at 6:39 pmJames

    I just love Him as no other it astounds and puzzles me why everyone does not feel the same Jesus is as wonderful caring God He really is

  33. on 11 Jan 2019 at 11:55 pmMel Thompson

    My grandson’s wife is a seeker. She asked me via Facebook Messenger the other day in behalf of my great-grandsons, “Why do God and Jesus think they’re “cool”? It caught me off guard, but without being too flip, I want to try to answer their (her) questions. After reading this, I going to try to adapt to the asked questions.

  34. on 18 Apr 2019 at 11:44 pmSara

    Why people believe this Jesus so much? Where are the evidence? Too much lie. He is a human who thinks god and everyone believe? Then who create him? Himself? What a joke! He is still alive? not dead yet? Of course he is dead now. People are too ego to admit that he is not the God. What are the goods that could he give to us? Please stop.

  35. on 06 Aug 2019 at 7:23 amAdam Stanton

    Having grown up in poverty without a father around, I’ve always looked for male role-models, often overlooking anything in the Bible.

    After reading this I started thinking again about the kind of man that I want to be, I was pretty cynical as I started reading, but by the end I just thought, “What have I to lose in my life by embracing some of the great qualities of Jesus?” I’m going to print this out and focus on one item at a time as I continue my quest to be a better man and human being.

  36. on 17 Oct 2019 at 9:35 pmCallum Synnot

    Very Good, Helped me a lot in life and helped me with a school project.

  

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