Before you read this article think of five words you would use to describe Jesus.

What were they? Most people would choose words like meek, gentle, humble, loving, compassionate and kind. Our perception of Jesus displays Him as a weak man who wouldn’t hurt anyone. He walks around with a clean look and wearing a shiny, white robe that somehow never gets dirty.

But let me present to you a different side of Jesus. Let me show you a Jesus that offended people on purpose, was decisive, tough, outspoken, bold and a real man. Jesus was not the wimp our Sunday School portrayal makes Him out to be. Jesus presented Himself as such a strong leader that Simon the Zealot would fully expect Jesus to defeat the Romans and take over as conquering king. Definitely not the picture of a feeble man.

Jesus was manly enough that rough and tough fisherman, comparable to those in the “Deadliest Catch,” would leave everything without question to follow Him. Jesus was not afraid to tell powerful, religious leaders that they were “children of the devil.” And, in an account most Sunday School classes gloss over, Jesus got so mad that he threw over tables in church (the temple) and made a whip to drive people out! That doesn’t sound very “kind and gentle!”

This Jesus is a real man with the characteristics and full blown masculinity of a real man. The same characteristics and masculinity most churches seek to suppress and frown upon because they fear offending someone.

But Jesus did not. Jesus desired to have men like outspoken Peter in his “youth group.” He showed His followers that being direct and speaking up is a normal and natural thing. He also showed them, however, that doing so is mostly reserved for the religious traditions of the church, while compassion is shown toward those outside the church. Why? The ones inside, who have been there the longest, should know how to love others. Those outside the church have yet to know the one who loves them.

So here is the balance. Jesus is a tough commander of the armies of heaven, an outspoken teacher unafraid to get dirty and a powerful king who can control all under His reign. But He is also compassionate and desires for none to perish. He leads His army out to defeat the evil one and to deliver those who have been oppressed for so long. Will you join Him in the fight? Will you answer the call, “Come, follow Me?”

Some thoughts taken from “Why Men Hate Going To Church?” by David Murrow.