I like watching SAS: Who Dares Wins on TV. It’s the programme in which former SAS men put wannabes through rigorous SAS-type training. Only the toughest survive and the programme chronicles how the participants drop out one by one as they reach their mental and physical limits.
The feats of endurance these guys go through is very impressive but it still doesn’t compare to forty days and nights in the wilderness and an epic encounter with the devil.
We sometimes gloss over this event in Jesus’ ministry but, all the spiritual aspects and purposes aside, this 40 day endurance course demonstrates one thing about Jesus – as a man He was one tough hombre.
Jesus fasted in one of the most hostile physical environments known to man. For forty days and nights! And He gave satan a whupping in that weakened condition.
Now some might be wondering why it is so important to emphasise this “tough guy” dimension of Christ’s humanity. The answer is very simple.
Too often Jesus is depicted and perceived as a weak, effete character who kind of hid from the rough, tough aspects of life. That is not the reality. Jesus was no pansy or milksop. The 40 day wilderness experience proves this.
We live in an age where gender is so distorted and blurred that celebrating authentic maleness and femininity is an offense to the Babylonian system around us.
Well, Jesus was all man. He was strong, tough, dynamic and powerful. He was also gentle, tender, kind and meek. Yes, these can also be masculine virtues.
The Jesus who could be extraordinarily sensitive and tender is the same Jesus who forcibly drove the moneychangers from the temple.
As a man I want to know the Jesus I serve and follow is a real man. He was, He is and He ever will be.
As God, Jesus is infinitely mighty. But as a man, He could kick some serious ass if He had to. There is a comfort in that. Sometimes we get all tied up in spirituality that we forget a vital truth.
That truth is that Jesus is the perfect expression of man. And manhood.