Did Jesus Have a Spine?

You may be thinking, “Matthew, the answer is obvious. Of course, Jesus had a spine. He had a human body.” Others get where I am going with this. Have you ever heard someone being referred to as “spineless”? This means that they lack courage to say what needs to be said and take necessary action. I know the popular trend is to portray Jesus as this weak guy that went easy on everybody, but that is not the Jesus of the Bible.

You may say, “Matthew, why would you say such a thing? Jesus is all about some love.” This is true, but John 1:14 says He is “full of grace AND truth”. If He is full of truth, what do you think will come out of His mouth? Flattery? Southern charm? A good old “bless your heart”? Let’s look first at how He responded in an intolerable situation.

“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” (Matthew‬ ‭21:12-13‬ ‭NKJV). Did you notice what Jesus did? He turned over tables and told the money changers that they had turned His house into a den of thieves. Southerners in America might say that wasn’t good manners. Jesus had the authority, didn’t He?

Let’s look now at some things He called the scribes and Pharisees.

1. Ye blind guides (Matt. 23:16).

2. Ye fools (Matt. 23:17).

3. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees…for ye are like whited supulchres…full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27).

4. Ye serpents (Matt. 23:33).

5. Ye generation of vipers (Matt. 23:33).

6. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (Luke 11:44).

7. Ye are as graves which appear not (Luke 11:44).

He was dealing with religious people who did not want any part of Him. Once again, I can hear you say, “Jesus shouldn’t be name calling.” He is God. He knows the hearts of people, so what He says is truth.

While Jesus is a compassionate Savior, He has no tolerance for sin. People are quick to quote Jesus for saying that those who are without sin should cast the first stone, yet they skip the end when He told the adulterous woman to “go and SIN NO MORE”.

Jesus isn’t spineless. He is very much confrontational. I didn’t say He was hateful. I said that He speaks against what is wrong while meeting them where they are. May we not shy away from speaking the truth in love because we have a weak, unbiblical view of the real Jesus.

Fitting In

Many of us go through life trying to “fit in”. In an attempt to be accepted by an individual or group of people, we pretend to be someone we are not. From a totally different angle, some of us are comfortable with who we are while being unable to fit in our clothes. That’s where I am.

We can respond to this a few different ways:

  1. We can change the outside. We do this by getting clothes that fit. In this, we are changing the environment to fit us. It is a form of change, but we have made no personal change other than a new outfit or wardrobe. I’m not saying that is wrong. Changing the environment (wardrobe) to suit us may be the best option because our physique is where it should be.
  2. We can change the inside. This will demonstrate itself outwardly. If we lose weight or develop muscle, we are changing what goes into the clothes as well as the clothes themselves.

What do I recommend? I would recommend the latter. Any of us can try to force what is close to us to change, but it takes work to make personal changes. Our personal changes can lead to a chain reaction where we influence change around us.

You and I were created to stand out. Play it safe if you wish, but God has put a pioneer spirit within me. Be a trendsetter! Walk into the room and set the thermostat! I’m not talking about changing the temperature on a little box. Be the kind of person who walks into a room and sets the atmosphere because of the type of person you are. May your positive energy bring joy and influence.

While you may look at “fitting in” as a problem, it may be a blessing in disguise. I spent years trying to fit in, only to discover that I was in an environment that stifled me. I had to be in a situation where I could help change the atmosphere. Don’t settle for less! Choose to stand out! It’s the only way you will make a difference.