Max Lucado Talks About Our "Next Door Savior"
- Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Crosswalk: Why is it so important for people to grasp the humanity of Jesus and not just His divinity?
Lucado: If we don't understand the humanity of Jesus, we simply won't go to Him with our problems. If my understanding of God is simply a God of power, of unlimited wisdom and strength, I may worship Him, but I won't approach Him.
It would be kind of like me going up to Tiger Woods and saying, "Can you sympathize with me? I shot a 98." He might teach me, but he would look at me and say, "I've never shot a 98 in my whole life."
Part of what God knows we need is His compassion, His sympathy, His understanding. Consequently, He knows exactly how you feel when you say, "God, my father is sick. I need help." The one who hears us in heaven says, "You know, Lazarus was sick. My mother was sick." He remembers the times on earth and consequently we can approach Him as one who understands.
Crosswalk: What would you say to the reader who objects when you mention Jesus, even though He did not sin, faced sexual temptation? Or to someone who finds other examples of the humanity of Jesus irreverent?
Lucado: I think there is something inside of us that wants to keep Jesus in a very hygienic world, but that wasn't His plan. He was born in a stable and placed in a feed trough and so the earliest smells he knew were cow dung and urine. He did get so tired that He fell asleep in a boat and didn't even wake up when the storm came through. He did get so hungry that He ate grain out of the wheat field. He was so tired that He sat down in Samaria and leaned up against the well. All these expressions of His humanity are there to teach us and to encourage us. I don't think we're being irreverent. I think we are being honest in description.
Crosswalk: Have you spent much time in Israel?
Lucado: I've been there three times and each time it is a very profound experience. I guess I always thought it was such a big, glamorous place, but it really is so simple, rudimentary, small. It shows us how the world of Jesus was very primitive.
Crosswalk: Did you do other background research to be able to describe Jesus the man?
Lucado: I found four, maybe five, [theology] books that were really helpful. One of the things that I like to do is take some of these truths and make them a little more accessible, because these truths are so powerful and so profound, but sometimes they are written in an academic jargon that's just a little difficult. Most of the people in my church would never pull these books down off the shelf to look at. So, I try to work with it in such a way that is makes it more understandable.
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