Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges.  This week’s topic is part of our series called Jesus Is… where we’re trying to learn about the identity of Jesus, through studying some key stories in the Bible.

Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. We have a rhythm that keeps us in sync, even if we’re not a community that meets together in person regularly. Every Monday we introduce the week’s idea. Every Tuesday we study it in the Bible. Every Wednesday we see how that challenges and transforms our thinking on the topic. Thursdays we try to apply and live it out. Friday is a day for prayer and reflection before we take a rest on Saturday, and Sundays we meet together with others in community.

We’re starting right in with a title that may surprise you: Jesus is Human.  Have you ever thought about that before?  Lots of people could agree Jesus is human.  There is third-party evidence from non-Christian historians describing the man and his circumstances.  There’s pretty strong agreement from academic historians that a man named Jesus existed in the first century AD.

The following facts about Jesus were written by early non-Christian sources:

  • Jesus was from Nazareth and lived a wise and virtuous life.
  • Jesus was crucified in Palestine under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar at Passover time, being considered the Jewish king.
  • Jesus was believed by his disciples to have died and risen from the dead three days later.
  • Jesus’ enemies acknowledged that he performed unusual feats they called “sorcery.”
  • Jesus’ small band of disciples multiplied rapidly, spreading as far as Rome.
  • The timings, locations, and circumstances all match the Bible’s accounts.

But is that the whole story?  That’s where it gets riskier to simply say “Jesus is Human”.  It sounds like we’re saying that’s all he is – one of us, a human being who lived and died years ago.

Now, we have 12 weeks to go in this series, so I’m definitely not saying that’s all Jesus is, or else this series would be really boring.  I think that would be a problem because some of those historians, and billions of people today, also claim that Jesus’ disciples worshiped Christ as God.

If he’s truly God, a claim we’ll explore next week, then the surprising claim is that he could also be one of us, a human!  And that’s what Christmas was all about, God coming to earth as a human being, so we’ll start with this one.

Question: Have you ever met a famous or legendary person?  Were you at all surprised to find out how normal they were, or did they remain aloof and distant?