In answer to the question in the header, He actually had several during His time on earth. But we’ll get to that in a moment. First, we must ask: Was Jesus more like Indiana Jones (strong, adventurer, fearless, calm under pressure, takes on evil), or a hippie from the Woodstock era? If we take a sincere look inside our minds – it is amazing what stained glass images and preconceived notions we have of Him. As I’ve traveled to different countries or visited a variety of museums – it is interesting the vast amount of interpretations that are out there. Any of these sound familiar? Him wearing a flowing robe similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Dumbledore, or Gandalf? Bearded and long-haired, sometimes neatly parted down the middle? Pale complexion, thin, monotone, frequently using the gesture of the “peace sign” in His travels – or one hand lifted up as He is teaching a group of eager listeners? Tender Jesus meek and mild? Author John Eldredge makes this observation in his book Beautiful Outlaw:
” . . . But is this the Jesus of our worship songs? The religious fog sneaks in to obscure Jesus with lines comparing him to, ‘a rose trampled on the ground.’ Helpless, lovely Jesus. Vegetarian, pacifist, tranquil. Oh, wait – that was Gandhi. Not Jesus.” (pg. 37)
Sometimes we forget:
He sternly took foul spirits head on and they fled (a possible Indy moment!). Luke 4:35
He cleared a temple of crooks and animals with a whip (definite Indy moment!). John 2:15
As a carpenter, he didn’t have chainsaws or power saws. Rugged tools, rough wood, and working in the harsh Middle East heat (he was tough like Indy!). Mark 6:3
His presence was so strong, it pushed a group of soldiers back. John 18: 4-6
He didn’t care what people thought about Him because He knew His purpose, and the only One He needed to please was His Heavenly Father. Mark 12: 13-14
He walked everywhere – had to be in top-notch shape and have amazing endurance. Researchers estimate He walked over 15,000 miles during His lifetime.
I read this scripture a few weeks ago, and it helped me start thinking a completely new perspective:
“Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.” (John 10:39). “He eluded their grasp” in the past to me had been an image of Him racing through the crowd like a darting running back heading for the end zone. My Bible commentary conveniently skips explaining this verse. Another commentary I looked at states, “No explanation is given as to how he escaped.” The King James version of the verse says, “Therefore they sought again to take Him: but He escaped out of their hand.” Two similar incidents are found in John 8:59 & Luke 4:30, and my commentary suggests “a miracle occurred” regarding his escape. Possibly. Maybe. Could have. We are left to wonder.
In my OPINION, here’s what I think happened based on two things:
- The multitude of ways Jesus displayed masculinity in the instances mentioned in the list above.
- The context of the way the religious authorities were treating Him. He was speaking the truth, and they were harassing Him (John 9:40, John 10:19,20, John 10: 24-26, and John 10:33).
I completely understand it was not His time to be taken into captivity that would ultimately lead to His death on the cross. So maybe he did vanish into thin air, swiftly eluded those after Him, or secretly sneak into the alleyway and hide until the bad guys were gone.
However, I choose to believe He aggressively took them on – and they backed off. “Their grasp” and “escaped out of their hand” seems to me they started to put their hands on Him. His response? I THINK He pulled away from whoever was grabbing Him with a yank or swim move while staring that person or persons down. Maybe He gave a slight shove to remind them who they were messing with. Perhaps those ready to stone Him dropped the rocks from their hands in an unspoken surrender. Then, quite possibly, the small crowd parted like the Red Sea as He confidently walked away because He had enough of their #$%&* for one day. Walked away, didn’t run.
I could be way off – but I like my version of the story. What are your thoughts? Please comment below 🙂
P.S. If you enjoyed this, please forward to a friend. Thanks! 🙂
Nicely done! New perspective…and I like it!
Thanks, Heather! New perspective is what I was shooting for 🙂
Interesting theory, and I think it certainly could have happened that way. Earlier in that chapter there’s a lengthy exchange between Jesus and his accusers, so it seems kind of strange to think about his escape being a quick darting through the crowd kind of thing. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Darin – my goal is for people to see Him beyond the stereotypes. Guess we can ask Him when we get there what really happened 🙂
David, that is a thought.
He was definitely confrontational, but for one who takes the Word literally I have to take into the account of Jesus when he sat down to dinner with the two disciples He faced on the road to Emmaus in Luk 24:31 ……… (They didn’t even know who He was)
“And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.” You my reason that this was after His Resurrection ….. I would have to ask myself (or better yet HIM) why he didn’t stay and talk with them? If I had been one of them how would I have felt bitterness or rejected or “WOW THAT WAS COOL!” …. (Enter song here “I Can Only imagine”)
But then He appeared (out of no where) just as He disappeared when He showed up in a raging storm walking on the water on the Sea of Galilee before the Resurrection. Peter even walked on water until “the cares of this world” (waves and the storm) made him take his eyes off Jesus.
Thanks for your insight and perspective Bill!