Three pictures of manliness in the gospels:
ONE. Jesus, pictured as the father in Luke 15, (seriously the father is Jesus. Just straightforwardly and obviously Jesus. There’s no question in my mind). Where was I? Oh yes, Jesus, pictured as the father, is turned in his stomach with compassion, hitches up his robes, runs to his good-for-nothing son, flings his arms around him, falls on his neck and smothers the boy in kisses.
Here is the most poignant picture of Jesus’ love for sinners. And Jesus chooses a patriarch to show it. We might think he looks pretty motherly and not fatherly. We might question the masculinity of this scene. We’d be dead wrong. Here is a picture of total Jesus-shaped manliness.
TWO. Jesus gets up from the evening meal, downs his drink in one, belches and then challenges Judas to a cage fight. No wait. That’s not John 13. In John 13 He gets up from the table, takes off His robe, picks up a towel, and He gets down on His hands and knees to wash and pad dry the dirty, naked feet of His friends.
Was this a detour from His otherwise robust masculinity? No, it was the expression of it. Here was Jesus showing the full extent of His love (v1) – the Bridegroom washing His bride in sacrificial service.
THREE. Gethsemane: Jesus, overwhelmed with sorrow, actually lets His friends in on His distress – inviting Peter, James and John to watch with Him. The Passion of the Christ gets this wrong – Jesus does not say ‘I don’t want them to see me like this.’ The only reason we know about this episode is that Jesus must have told them all about it. Desperate praying, sweating blood, heart poured out, never has Jesus looked weaker.
I’ve heard Driscoll repeatedly describe Gethsemane as a portrait of femininity – Jesus in submission to His Head, the Father. Of course both men and women need to look to Christ as Model. But frankly I think Driscoll is avoiding something that ought to challenge his macho-man masculinity. Here is Man in submission to God. This is what man is made for. The Ruler under God, in the garden, obeying submissively in total dependence and willing to die for His bride – here is the Last Adam, the true picture of manliness.
Of course it doesn’t look very macho. It isn’t. But it’s what Jesus-shaped masculinity looks like.
To be a man like the Man doesn’t look manly to men. A man must be man enough to reject men and follow the Man.
Some more posts on gender here.