Arguably the smartest man who ever lived said, “If you cannot explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein could speak on the theory of relativity for hours, but how did he explain it? E=mc2. There is a plethora of information, a sea of fact to explore buried beneath the equation. But its most basic explanation is “E=mc2”. He could explain it in its most simple terms.
It takes a lot to take something large and make it into something small. Something real. Something understandable.
That’s just what Jesus did. An entire theory of relativity became an equation. God became man.
“The tongue that called forth the dead was a human one. The hand that touched the leper had dirt under its nails. The feet upon which the woman wept were calloused and dusty. And his tears…they came from a heart as broken as yours or mine.”*
And just that-Jesus became man. He wasn’t always. Sometimes he’s found as an unexpected visitor, sometimes as a fourth in a party of three in a burning furnace… But finally, He who whispered the world into existence… Simplified himself. He simplified himself so that we, humans, could understand better the God that made us. His father. He became small. Real. Understandable. With us.
We cannot understand an immaterial God. We can understand a human Jesus.
This is why Jesus’s ways worked.
“So people came to him… They came at night; they touched him as he walked down the street; they followed him down the street; they followed him around the sea; they invited him into their homes and placed their children at his feet. Why? Because he refused to be a statue in a cathedral or a priest in an elevated pulpit. He chose instead to be Jesus.”*
He simplified religion. He fulfilled it. He simplified love.
Why would people invite a man to infiltrate the walls of their home? Why would mothers and fathers place their most prized possessions at the feet of a man with dirty nails and calloused feet?
Because Jesus did not stand behind a pulpit. He was not so disconnected from his fellow brother that he could not be reached.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Life isn’t religion. It isn’t rules to abide and to follow. It isn’t the approval of men. Jesus knew that life is to love and be loved; to love God and to love others. It is simple.
Jesus became simple so that the simple could become wise.