Originally Posted by Mike Young March 2006
Men need more…. Intensity.
Dictionary.com defines intensity as follows:
1 : the quality or state of being intense; especially : extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling
It’s interesting to consider how we think of Jesus. During a recent radio interview, David Murrow (author of Why Men Hate Going to Church) said that most of the pictures that we see of Jesus show him surrounded by children or sheep. The interviewer chuckled and commented on the truthfulness of the statement. Think about the visual images you have seen of Christ. Haven’t you often seen him in these settings? They make Christ look soft. Certainly Christ exhibited some gentle qualities. However, I’m not sure the disciples would have followed a man who was truly as mild as many of our images would lead us to believe.
When you get to know Jesus by reading the Bible, rather than just looking at those paintings and pictures, you meet a man of great intensity, who stood up in tough situations and was a leader of men.
I believe men (and women) were drawn to him because of this intensity.
Think about these examples:
Jesus was intense in the face of conflict and confrontation.
He never backed down from a tough situation. Remember how he addressed the Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees in Matthew 22. Here are some of his comments: “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?” V. 18, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” V. 29. Wow! Jesus might have been comfortable with children and sheep but he was also comfortable taking on the self-righteous hypocrites!
Jesus displayed intense self control.
Remember when he was just starting his ministry and he spent the 40 days and nights fasting in the dessert? Matthew 4:2 says ‘he was hungry’. What an understatement! Then the ‘Tempter” showed up and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread”. Can you imagine the intense emotions and desires Christ must have felt when he replied, “It is written, man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Jesus displayed intensity in many other ways as well…
- He prayed intensely in the garden of prior to his death: And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:44
- He was intensely committed to the will of his Father: Three times he prayed… “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matt 26:39
- He forgave others with remarkable intensity: Can you imagine the hanging on the cross and having compassion for your executioners? Jesus did when he said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Men, we celebrate intensity.
In the coming days and weeks we will marvel at the intensity of young men and their coaches who battle on the basketball courts during March Madness. Men are drawn to intensity. That’s how we’re made. We celebrate men who perform best under difficult circumstances, who pour themselves out completely for a cause and leave the battlefield with no regrets because they gave all.
Wouldn’t you consider joining forces with the man who lived most intensely, Jesus Christ?
Consider the reaction of one of Christ’s executioners upon seeing him die… The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” Luke 23:47
I’d love to introduce you to him! Send me an e-mail and let’s talk.