These words “Here is the man.” (John 19:4) were uttered by Pilate as he gave into the demands of the crowd wanting Jesus to be crucified. Jesus stood with Pilate before the crowd after being flogged and mocked by Pilate’s soldiers. He stood in humiliation, wearing a crown of thorns and a purple robe, as Pilate looked for a way to release Jesus despite the angry crowd. Pilate said to them, “I present him to you, but I want you to know that I do not find him guilty of any crime” (John 19:4 – The Message). Here is a real man, suffering great injustice, humiliation and finally death.
Stephen Mansfield makes this observation about Jesus the man. “The NT presents the Son of Man as the True Man. Jesus’ manhood subverts the manly man of the Greco-Roman world because Jesus’ manhood is one of humiliation, service, and crucifixion. Jesus takes on the form of a slave (Phil 2:5-11). True manhood is not measured by courage or strength but by self-sacrificial love for the other.”
Men, Jesus give us an example to follow, plus the grace and strength through the infilling of His Spirit, to carry through with a servant heart. “This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. He never did one thing wrong, not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way” (I Peter 2:21-24 – The Message).
Don’t get me wrong. We need men with courage, determination and fortitude. But in the kind of toxic cultural environment we live in, where Christian men either “cave in” under social pressures, or they become angry, resentful men, reacting rather than responding with love, we need a good dose of teaching on the servant heart of Jesus. He made it very clear. “Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever want to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done. He came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:42-44 – The Message)
As soldiers for Christ we need training for the real combat we will face. Guess where you will receive your best training? You bet – it at home with your wife and kids. This is where we learn to be a solider, who goes into combat, having learned something about “self-sacrificial love for the other.” So men, I tell you from a lot of personal experience, what you learn and become at home is what you will carry into the world. Ask your heavenly Father for grace to learn your lessons as home. Get with some other guys who see the same need. Together cry out to God for mercy to be changed into loving warriors for him.