The Model Role Model
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
For three years they had watched Jesus live His life, and never once did He crack or bend. They saw Him break bread with sinner after sinner. Time and again He would break the rules of the religion when love or compassion demanded it; he frustrated His critics when he encountered misplaced spirituality. He was not intimidated by authority figures. He was not swayed by public opinion or pressure from authorities. He would not cave.
As one of my favorite authors, Brennan Manning, puts it, “His doing and his being, like his divinity and humanity, were one,” His identity in His Father was formed in His heart in such a way that the world saw a real man. One who was free to love, help, heal, serve, teach, confront, and connect radically with people. Most important for us males, Jesus Christ modeled how to release oneself fully to God’s purposes in the face of personal suffering — the real test of a man’s heart.
On that dark evening, the most important thing Jesus might have ever shown us was how to completely let go of our hearts to God. And that he did. But He also stiffened His spine. Spine comes from undivided trust in the One who gives us the undivided heart. There is no sadder or more pathetic man than the one with a heart but no spine. It’s one thing to feel something and another to put it into practice.
How easy it is to see the problems of others, we say to ourselves, “the answer is obvious”, just do it! I will say it again, behind every good decision is an undivided heart coupled with the nerve of the spine.
Father, thank you for modeling your heart and spine through Jesus.