Author Philip Yancey describes Jesus in his book “The Jesus I Never Knew” in these words:
“In terms of his personality, the gospels present a man who had such charisma that people would sit 3 days straight without food just to hear his riveting words. He loved to praise other people. He had near inexhaustible patience with individuals. He quickly established intimacy with the people he met; after a few brief lines of conversation people revealed their innermost secrets to Jesus even though they tended to keep rabbis at a respectful distance. Jesus drew out a hunger so deep that people crowded around him just to touch his clothes. He accepted almost anybody’s invitation to dinner and had a diverse list of friends ranging from common people to Roman centurions and tax collectors, prostitutes and leprosy victims. People liked being with Jesus. Once he ate with a leper, on 2 occasions during a meal, a disreputable woman poured expensive perfume on him; twice he went to eat with tax collectors. Where he was, joy was. Pharisees believed that touching an unclean person polluted the one who touched; but when Jesus touched a person with leprosy, he did not become soiled — they became clean. The contagion of holiness had overcome the contagion of uncleanness. He commended a troubling tax collector over a God fearing Pharisee. The first person to whom he revealed himself as messiah was a Samaritan woman who had a history of five failed marriages and was currently living with yet another man. With his dying death he pardoned a thief who would have no opportunity for spiritual growth. Yet he himself was not a sinner. We are amazed at this uncompromising blend of grace towards sinners and hostility toward sin.”
What is even more amazing is that God wants to make all of us increasingly like Jesus. The Message translation of Romans 8:29-30 says it well. “God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shapethe lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.”
At Rexdale Alliance Church, all levels of leadership are increasingly committed to “changed lives.”
It is my earnest hope and prayer that, captivated by the possibility of becoming like Jesus, you will take some time to check out our mission, vision and core values to get some idea of how we are attempting to flesh out this commitment to changed lives.
Pastor Sunder Krishnan