The Missing Person of Jesus

By Liz Voboril

A Theological Issue

Many Christians are so aware of Jesus’ divinity that they have forgotten he’s also a man. They love him but know little about what he’s like as a person. The church has left the study of the person of Jesus to children’s Sunday school. But Jesus is the most beautiful part of our faith. He is the only perfectly loving human being. When we study how he lived as a person, we learn what it means to be fully human as God planned. When we look at the rhythms and patterns of his life, we learn what love is and how to love well. As we see how Jesus was sad or even got angry, we see Jesus was not disconnected from the wide range of human emotions – and we shouldn’t be either. Jesus shows us how to live the Christian life by living it himself.

A Good Tool for Today

Our culture is going through unprecedented moral collapse. Christians are often confused, weary and overwhelmed by this, and by the shift in values from a Christian to a post-Christian and sometimes anti-Christian world. Christians often speak the language of ideas and theology, while non-Christians speak the language of Oprah – about relationships, feelings and empathy. The media often portrays Christians as judgmental, mean-spirited, hypocritical and narrow. The non-Christian world may like Jesus …but not us. How can we help them to see Jesus?

The Person of Jesus (POJ) Interactive Bible study was written to help the church bridge the gap by offering a non-threatening way to share the gospel with people who have little contact with the church. Instead of focusing on Christianity, we gently introduce the person of Jesus and the incomparable beauty of his love. Instead of trying to convert non-believers by telling them what to believe, we help them discover the person of Jesus on their own by asking questions. Instead of using logic or theological truth to convince someone to become a believer, the Person of Jesus draws people into the compassionate story of the most caring person who ever lived. They discover theology through the person of Jesus. seeJesus studies assume no background in Scripture or theology. Historical background and theological sections that are taught level the playing field between Christians and non-Christians.

In a culture increasingly committed to our “screens,” the format of seeJesus studies fosters meaningful interaction. The world of virtual friendships and screens does not satisfy the soul’s need for human connection. Community grows as groups share their lives.

Overview of the Study

The Person of Jesus study introduces a Christ so personal, so rich in love, that participants are captivated heart first. It’s equally suited to discipling believers or helping non-believers discover the beauty of Jesus. By looking thoughtfully at Jesus, participants discover what love is and rekindle their joy in knowing Jesus.

The Five Unit, 48-lesson curriculum explores:

  • Jesus’ Compassion – Jesus moves into other people’s worlds. How do I move toward people who are different from me?
  • Jesus’ Honesty – Jesus’ commitment to truth and justice balances his compassion. How can I speak truth in love?
  • Jesus’ Dependence – Jesus relies on the Father to shape his love. When and how do I say yes or no to people?
  • Jesus’ Faith – Jesus’ faith energizes his love. Where can I find strength to love?
  • Jesus’ Passion – Jesus’ death is at the heart of love and leads to hope and resurrection. What does a dying love look like? How can I live that way?

48 lessons because love isn’t simple. Taking Jesus seriously is hard work. The Person of Jesus explores the complexity of love and the image of God as revealed in Jesus. POJ offers an in-depth look at love by focusing on the one truly good man, Jesus of Nazareth. As people see his life unfold, their eyes open to a rich encounter with God’s love. This enables a renewed ability to open our hearts to others.

Want to learn more? Explore the study here, and consider attending a See Jesus Workshop to get some training and inspiration for how you can lead a group with the study.