The tooth fairy is a magical creature that flies in the night, steals teeth, and leaves a reward under your pillow or beside your bed. We assume it is a girl because of the fairy title and if you are my seven year old, you believe she is sparkly with pink wings. Although she is quiet, she has a soft twinkle when fluttering off.
It is amazing how we parents help our kids create such vivid images of what is make believe. Everyone knows the Easter Bunny is a boy and wears a pastel vest, and of course Santa is round, red, and sports a long, white beard. Society helps create these images with pictures on storefronts and billboards. Before having children, it never occurred to me that no one really stops and creates a mental image of Jesus. During Christmas and Easter seasons you do not see Jesus’ face on storefronts or in special displays. Why would we not teach our kids of what Jesus may look like? After all, He is, unlike the aforementioned characters, real.
Even though the Bible does not give us extreme details of what Jesus looked like, it does provide us with important descriptions. My seven year old recently surrendered his life to Jesus and began asking what Jesus looks like. I had to find Scripture to help me clearly paint the picture in his little head of what Jesus is like.
Jesus is love
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me” (Proverbs 8:17).
The Bible emphatically states Jesus loves us. Every child understands love is more than toy cars, Mickey Mouse, or their bikes. The best way I could help my son understand real love was to relate it to what he and I have for one another. I took it a bit further and explained Jesus loved us so much that He died for us. I pointed him to Romans 5:8, “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus is kind
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 33).
Jesus was kind and merciful while He walked this earth. Those characteristics continue with Him in eternity. As He walked among humanity, He performed many miracles and blessed many people. One of my all-time favorite Bible stories is the story of Zacchaeus. The Lord Jesus was passing through Jericho and upon seeing Zacchaeus in the tree, called him down and brought him salvation (Luke 19:1-10). Jesus looked beyond the social stigma of having dinner with a tax collector. He reached the unreachable and touched the untouchable – and He still does today.
Jesus is compassionate
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus wants us to completely rely on Him. His compassion for us is overwhelming. He does not want us to worry or long for anything other than Him. If we lay it all at His feet we will find rest. I shared the story of the widow’s son as a great example of what compassion from Jesus looks like. In Luke 7:12-14, Jesus sees a woman and His heart hurts for her. He raisedher dead son back to life. My son’s eyes got bigger than ever have on Christmas morning.
Jesus is a healer
“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
In a world with so much sickness and death, this was pretty easy to talk about. Unfortunately my seven-year-old understands death all too well so I had to provide stories of healing. I started by pointing out the many times I have prayed and the Lord as allowed healing in my life. I then thought of the story of the man born blind in John 9: 1-6. This man was born with no sight but Jesus delivered him from his darkness. I had my son cover his eyes to try to understand the entire concept. He was amazed how Jesus could heal blindness with mud and water. While covering my eyes with him, I was reminded that I serve a mighty God.
Jesus is alive
Mark 16: 5-6 says, “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ’You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” We serve a God that is not dead – He is alive. I explained that because Jesus is not physically seen on earth, He works through His children to be His hands and feet. We are the body of Christ, à la 1 Corinthians 12:27.
Jesus is holy
The last description I can give is that Jesus is holy. The Old Testament’s original language, Hebrew, did not have exclamation points. When a writer really wanted to show how important something was, he would repeat it three times. You see this all over the place from Genesis to Malachi. But there is only one description of God that is repeated three times, back to back to back. In Isaiah 6, the angels are surrounding God on His throne shouting, “Holy, holy, holy…”
To show my son why this is so important, I explained that holy means set apart. In other words, Jesus is holy, set apart, in His love. His love is unconditional, steadfast, never changing. Our actions cannot make Him love us more or less because He loves us with an infinite, eternal love.
Jesus is holy in His kindness. His kindness is set apart because it is a kindness we cannot express. He shows kindness to us even in our sin, even while we were His enemies.
Jesus is holy in His compassion. We are a people who deserve hell because we, creations made from dirt, make conscious decisions on a daily basis to rebel against our Creator. He shows us compassion by inviting us into intimate fellowship with Him in this life, and in eternity to follow.
Jesus is holy in His healing. Doctors today can make us feel better. They can do surgery or offer drugs that can help us heal physically. But Jesus’ healing is so much deeper, so much better. It is set apart. Jesus not only heals the body, but He also heals the soul.
Lastly, Jesus is holy in being alive. No other being has come back to life through their own power. Only Jesus can make that claim. Jesus willingly died on a cross after being severely beaten. He was dead for three days, and then rose. No one helped Him. He simply opened His eyes and walked out of the grave, defeating death itself. He is now alive forever. He is holy, set apart in his living.
Our Jesus is loving, kind, compassionate, a healer of the sick, living, and holy. The Bible gives the perfect description of the man that gives us eternal life. No, He is not a fictitious character we see on storefronts. He does not bring us candy and presents. He is so much more than that. He brings us life everlasting. He loved us enough to die; He’s kind enough to forgive our sins; He is compassionate enough to carry out burdens; He heals our brokenness,; and He is alive, inviting each of us to live eternally with Him. He is the only holy being worthy of our love and worship.