Jesus is the ultimate man. Examples of men are plenteous in our culture, but who should we emulate? Ronaldo? Chuck Norris? The Biebs? Jesus Christ is the answer. He is the perfect man. No one is awesome like He is. Forget your personal hero, unless it’s Jesus. He is the one to emulate. He is ultimate.
God wills to transform Christian men into the image of His Son. God wants to make us like Jesus.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We know we need the Spirit of God to transform us to be like Jesus. We get that. Still, it is helpful to think about what the Spirit is trying to do in us. Who does He want to change us to be like? Knowing the destination is important.
In recent years, attention has been given to the prophet, priest, and king roles within ancient Israel. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of all three roles. He is our great high priest. He is the greatest prophet who ever lived, the Word made flesh. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
With this in mind, His men can think about how He might want to work in us. His role as Prophet, how does it impact us? His kingly skill, how would it influence us? His priestly service, do we copy it? In other words, Jesus is the perfect prophet, priest, and king. The Spirit wants to infuse Jesus’ life into ours, so we will grow in all three areas.
Remember, "Your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). He has something for you. He longs to transform you.
Let’s set our sights upon Jesus: specifically, upon two elements under each subheading. Jesus as King, two things. Jesus as Prophet, two things. Jesus as Priest, two things. This is not exhaustive. But I believe the Spirit wants to infuse these six attributes into us as God’s men.
Jesus is supreme. He is the highest. He is to have the preeminence in all things. There is never a room He walks into where He is not the greatest. He is always supreme.
Additionally, He knows this. He is not insecure or uncertain of the incredible position that is His. He gets it. The night He was betrayed, He knew. “Knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going back to God,” He then washed the disciples feet (John 13:3). Full of that knowledge, He humbled Himself and served His men.
So, Jesus, the King and leader of all. He is supreme, yet he humbled himself and served. He lowered himself. He “made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). Jesus lowered himself. This is the kind of King we have in Him. The servant of all.
So the man of God will humble himself. God has put people in your life. Your aim isn't self-promotion, to climb the ladder of success, but service. Climb the ladder of service.
"The greatest among you will be the servant of all," Jesus said (see Mark 10:41-45). We lower ourselves like Jesus lowered Himself.
Who has God given you responsibility for? Lower yourself for them. You aren’t the King of Kings. You’re not even the king of your living room.
If the King of Kings lowered himself for his people, we must lower ourselves for our people. Our community needs us to humble ourselves for them. Our families. Our wives. Our children. Our friends. Our churches. We must lower ourselves like Christ.
Jesus, as King, was also a sender. “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” During his earthly ministry, Jesus prepared people for their mission. He raised them up. He built them.
Then he sent them.
Perhaps you recognize how he’s done this for you. He’s built you up. Patiently, he has spoken the word into your life and heart. He has given you time to learn and grow in him. He’s watched over and opened doors for you. He did this for Peter, Paul, and now you. He has built you up to send you.
God’s men operate in the same vein. Like Jesus, we build up. Like Jesus, we see the possibility in others. He looked into a fisherman like Peter and saw a world-changer. He drew it out of the man.
Will we draw things out of the people in our lives? We aren’t their king, but if we are in a leadership role in their lives we have an opportunity. We can suppress and discourage. We can put off the “you’ll never amount to anything” vibe, or we can encourage them into maturity. We can build them up.
King Jesus lowered himself. King Jesus sent. Let us grow in the ability to do both.
This is not the title I normally use of Jesus. Perhaps I’ve developed an allergy to the title after hearing many say, “Jesus was a good teacher, a prophet, but not God.” I reject that. He is God who became flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14).
Still, he is the greatest prophet who ever walked the earth (Deuteronomy 18:15). He not only spoke the truth like the prophets of old, but He is the truth. He is "the true light, which enlightens everyone" (Jn 1:9).
The thing about Jesus is that he used His words. He taught. And he taught and taught and taught. He just kept teaching. In every moment He would open His mouth to instruct.
He taught about the blessed life (Matthew 5:3-12). He taught about future judgment (Matthew 13:36-43). He taught about marriage (Matthew 19:1-10). He taught about sin (Matthew 5:21-48). He taught about heart defilement (Mark 7:14-23). He gave warnings about hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). He explained the forgiveness of sin (Matthew 26:28).
Jesus was creative in his teaching. Parables for the masses, illustrations for the slow to hear. Private explanations for His disciples. Constantly, He taught. Words dripped out of his mouth. Proverbs. Wisdom. Grace. Love. Conviction. He did it all with his words.
The man of God will speak the truth. We will teach. We’ve all met the guy who pours forth his own opinions, his own thoughts and philosophies. Nary a word of God is present. We want something different. We want the word of Christ to pour from our lips.
We are called to teach the people in our care. We might not be teachers in the classic sense, but we are to communicate. Our children need to hear our words. Our friends need to hear our encouragements. Our wives need to receive our praise. Our church posse needs to hear our exhortations. We must use our words for his glory and kingdom. Speak.
As a prophet, Jesus also spoke into the lives of the men he cared for. He served them by speaking into their lives. Again, Peter comes to mind. “'You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas'” (which means Peter)" (John 1:42).
He looked straight into Peter’s heart and told him, “There’s more for you.” You are called. God has a plan for your life.
Like Prophet Jesus, we must identify the will and work of God in the lives of the people we love and care for. They are searching. They are insecure. They are in need of wisdom.
Speak into their lives. Exhort them. Encourage them. Raise them up. Tell them there’s more to them, something deeper. Help identify it for them. Be instrumental in leading them to the greener pastures Christ has for them. Identify.
In the Old Testament era there was a priesthood. Jesus replaced it. We are now to operate as a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6). We call this the priesthood of all believers (see 1 Peter 2:1-12). We are called to serve and love God with the same heart those Old Testament priests did.
How was that ministry given to us, though? By our Great High Priest, Jesus. The Old Testament priests would offer sacrifices, but He offered Himself as the sacrifice. So he is Priest forever. “We have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 8:1). “Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent that the old...” (Hebrews 8:6). He is our priest.
In his priestly role, Jesus served and served. His major priestly role was that of cleansing. He cleansed us from our sins. He washes us as He sanctifies us. He intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. He is our Advocate. He is always working to draw out the best in us.
Exiled to the island of Patmos, John had a vision of the glorified Jesus. He saw Jesus in his heavenly state. Jesus’ garments were clearly priestly (see Revelation 1). He is girded up right now, ready to serve us.
As men of God we are never the source of cleansing. The source is the cross. We can, however, be instruments and messengers. We can deliver hope and restoration to the people in our lives. Like faithful under-priests, we can bring people to the great high priest. We can point them to him, and there is life.
Men and women need the message of grace. Let it flow from your life and lips.
As priest, Jesus prayed for His disciples. He would go to the mountain top and pray as they strained at rowing. He would pray before selecting them. He would pray for their faith to remain strong in the face of temptation. Constantly, Jesus prayed them.
John 17 records His high priestly prayer. He prayed for their protection and sanctification, but also for ours. He interceded for them and future generations of believers. He prayed for our unity.
As men of God we are called to pray for the people in our lives. Jesus’ priestly role included prayer. Loving, passionate prayer. We are to intercede in prayer.
To me, it all goes back to this. In prayer, I see a way forward in a friends spiritual development. In prayer, I receive words to say to my children. In prayer, my faith grows, enabling me to send. The sending, the lowering, it all flows from here. Jesus lives to make intercession for me. I must intercede more for others.
Jesus is the perfect man we need to look to. The most popular men of our culture aren't our models. Jesus Christ is. Let us pour over the gospel accounts to find true masculinity. As we do, His Spirit will transform us into the same image.