The Box and the Masculinity of Christ, Part 2


From Catholic Exchange:

In The Box and the Masculinity of Christ, Part 1, we examined the culture of death’s narrow view of masculinity, and how the culture puts an enormous amount of pressure on boys to conform to this view. We also observed that Jesus Christ, as He is presented in the New Testament, does not conform to what our culture claims that a real, authentic man.

So, what is a real, authentic man? Because Jesus Christ created all that exists (Colossians 1:16), and is truth itself (John 14:6), his life can be upheld as a model of morality for both men and women. However, the second person of the Trinity became flesh as male, not female. As such, Christ lives out his perfect holiness in a manner that is masculine, not feminine. Therefore, it can rightly be said that Christ is to be regarded as the model for perfect masculinity. What are Christ’s masculine traits that are to be emulated by all men?

Before we examine Christ’s masculine traits, it is important to note a few important qualifications. First, women are not left out of the equation. They, too, have a model of perfect femininity in Mary, the mother of Jesus. Second, not all of the traits listed below are rigidly masculine. For example, I have listed that a real, authentic man protects his loved ones. This is primarily a masculine feature, but would anyone argue that if a mother’s child is in danger, the mother will rightly intervene to save her child? There is nothing un-feminine about a mother protecting her children. Therefore, be aware that although the traits listed below are indeed masculine, some may be considered feminine traits as well.

With that being said, a real, authentic man…

•1)      Fights Injustice and Evil: Jesus Christ is a fighter, a warrior. The New Testament portrays Him as “clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses” (Revelation 19:13-14). The gospels narrate Him as taking on the hypocritical Pharisees (Matthew 15:3-9, 23:13, Mark 8:10-13, Luke 14:1-6, etc.) and even Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-12). Lastly, Christ is victorious over death itself (1 Corinthians 15:25-26, Revelation 1:18). Each time He enters into combat, Our Lord exits the battlefield victorious.

•2)      Leads Others: Jesus Christ is called the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). As the King and Lord, Christ leads us to perfect holiness so that one day we may share in His reign (2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 20:6). Christ does this through his own example, but also through preaching (Matthew 5-7, etc.) and parables (Matthew 20:1-16, Mark 13:28-32, Luke 15:11-32, etc.). When Jesus leads, he does so as if he was “one who had authority” (Matthew 7:29). He can rightly do this, because he has been granted it by God the Father: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).

•3)      Keeps His Responsibilities, Even When Difficult: The second person of the Trinity had the awesome task of becoming man, maturing, and beginning a three year ministry that would bring about the fullness of God’s revelation to the world. During this ministry, Jesus was not always popular. Can you imagine if the gospels read, “Jesus spoke amongst the crowds, and watched his words lest he say something to offend them”? God forbid! Instead Jesus is bold and speaks the truth no matter who chooses to be offended. His largest task was the culmination of His ministry, to be murdered for the redemption of all humankind. He knew that it would be difficult: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Despite the fear or anxiety, Our Lord went through with His mission, becoming tortured and executed by the very people he had come to save.

•4)      Is Passionate: Jesus Christ is expressive. When he found money changers in the temple, he displayed the emotion of anger. He flipped over tables and used a whip to drive them away (Matthew 21:12-13, John 2:13-16). When his friend Lazarus died, Jesus “wept” (John 11:35). As Jesus Christ expresses emotions, such can thus be considered a masculine trait.

•5)      Prays Often: Jesus prays quite often (Matthew 14:19, Luke 5:16, 6:12, etc.). Note that when Jesus prays, He often does so alone and in the midst of nature, such as when he went to fast and pray in the wilderness for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-12). Note also that Jesus’ prayers can be considered masculine because they are more active than receptive: “Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made” (John 17:5). Contrast this with the Mary’s feminine prayer, which is more receptive than active: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

Here we have listed just five qualities that Jesus Christ possesses that can rightly be called masculine. In the The Box and the Masculinity of Christ, Part 3, we will discuss five more masculine traits of Christ and conclude up this series. In the meantime, I once again urge all men to break free of the popular culture’s false idea of masculinity in order to bear the image of the one who is masculinity itself.

One Response to The Box and the Masculinity of Christ, Part 2

  1. David Fuccillo says:

    I am really pleased to see an article like this posted. I know from having a son and having worked with developing young men for many years, I very much agree that our prevailing cultural view of masculinity is flawed and negative. Rather than seeing the male as a whole and healthy person, the prevailing culture focuses on aggression and domination, and sees the healthy and appropriate expression of emotion by men as weak and pathological.
    One of the commonalities among all the most successful men I have met is that they have emotional intelligence. They are able to perceive emotions in others accurately and to lead successfully based on their being able to guide others by appreciating those needs and motivations. The image of Christ we see in the Gospels shows the range of human emotion. He was both joyful and irritated at the Wedding at Cana, he cried when Lazarus died. When our prevailing culture suppresses the appropriate expression of emotion in men we know from medical and psychological evidence that it contributes to the physical, mental, and spiritual deterioration of their health.
    When we look at how Jesus dealt with women in the Gospels, we see that he would have been offending the view of the Jewish authorities at that time in history. The Pharisaic Judaism was misogynistic and viewed women as little more than property and not as unique individuals. By Christ recognizing and promoting a view that recognized the unique gifts of each of the sexes, and espouses a model of cooperation between the sexes, he shows us a model of human society that can overcome injustice and bring real peace to the world. I look forward to your coming work.

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