During each mass, I recite the Nicene Creed with my fellow mass participants. The Nicene Creed includes the core beliefs of our Catholic faith. A very important truth we acknowledge in this creed is that Jesus Christ is true God and true man. This is a mystery that my little brain (and even the smartest brains) cannot wrap their heads around completely because it is beyond the scope of human understanding.
Do not get me wrong when you read the rest of this article - Jesus is true God and true man and I recognize and believe in this mystery. But I often forget to meditate on the ordinary human experiences Jesus lived and only recently have I discovered it's fun to think about these things.
A lot of the time, I find comfort in the basic belief that Jesus was the true man - he endured hardships, sufferings, and even death. But only recently have I let my imagination run wild with how Jesus was truly a human.
Only recently have I imagined more than the fluff and imagined the more human-esque moments he must've experienced.
When I imagine Jesus as a young kid, a young boy, growing lad, and then a man, it's easier for me to understand the disbelief his own neighbors had that he was the son of God. When I imagine Jesus as a man, I think I'm gaining a more complete view of him.
When I view Jesus with a more human perspective in mind, I imagine a plump little baby Jesus crying out in the middle of the night for his mother's loving arms. I imagine Joseph and Mary rejoicing at his first steps and his first lost tooth. I can see Jesus having fun promoting and guiding deep discussions about God in the temple while his mother and father searched for him desperately in the caravan (to no avail).
I imagine Jesus' joy when his earthly father invited him into the carpenter shop to learn how to be a carpenter, too. I imagine Jesus buying Mary food in the busy marketplace, learning the Torah, and having great friendships with the boys and girls in his neighborhood. I can imagine Jesus going from a clean-shaven boy to a man with a beard.
I can even see him camping out under the stars on a simple blanket with his disciples during his ministry. I wish I could've camped out with Jesus back in the day.
A lot of these imaginative thoughts come from knowing really cool men in my life through my campus ministry. Knowing these men help me understand how cool it must have been to know Jesus during his lifetime - because my friends have the traits of wisdom, joy, and humility that Jesus must have had.
Many of these ideas come from trying to see Jesus through Mary's eyes as I pray the rosary. Unfortunately, I can only imagine these things about Jesus... but someday I hope Jesus will tell me stories of his childhood and young adulthood in heaven.
I want to know Jesus, and when I imagine him doing normal human things (like washing the dishes or sweeping up the floor for when guests arrive), it comforts me. Knowing that he got so stressed out he sweat blood before his gruesome death lets me know that even my Lord and Savior understands the turmoil of an anxious heart.
Realizing that he gave me value by laying his life down for me leaves me speechless with awe and wonder.
I'm very grateful for this new perspective. I hope that it has inspired you to remember a very important part of the Christian faith. Jesus was true God and true man. That's really exciting.
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