on Jesus as a “man’s man”

By | 6 September 2009

I came across this except recently in my meanderings, and feel it is worth reprinting here.


Many think of Jesus as a weak, sad looking fellow. He has been depicted as such by artists around the world for thousands of years.

I could be wrong, but personally, I think Jesus was a man’s man. Remember, Jesus was a carpenter. In those days, nail guns, circular saws, chainsaws, and belt sanders were not available. To be a successful carpenter, you needed to be patient and strong. You chopped down a tree with your axe, cut it to a manageable length by hand, then carried it by hand or beast to the work area, cut it to finished length by hand, hand shaped it, and hand nailed it. I think Jesus was physically strong, with rough, calloused hands.

With that in mind, let’s look in Mark 11. Here, Jesus is heading to Jerusalem for His final days. In Mark 11:11, He walks through the temple and “looked round about upon all things”, then He went to Bethany for the night. While Jesus was in the temple, He saw that the people had forgotten the significance of what the temple represented. They had become callous to the importance of the building. They had become indifferent, even cold to the presence of Almighty God who was worshipped there. The merchants had taken up space for business within the temple proper, carrying on commerce and haggling over profits on holy ground. People were taking shortcuts around town by wandering through the courtyard, as if the temple was just another building or some obstacle to be crossed through as quickly as possible. It is doubtful behaviour like this would have been permitted in the days of Moses or Joshua. Frankly, as some might say, “they were cruising for a bruising”.

At some point after walking through the Temple and reviewing what was happening there, Jesus sits down and makes a scourge (per Strong’s, the Greek word is phragellion, and means “a whip, that is, Roman lash as a public punishment“). Notice Jesus was not out of control, nor did He throw a furious fit about what He saw in the temple; He simply looked around, then calmly left for Bethany, and made His whip. The next day (per verse 12) Jesus enters the temple again, and begins cleaning house.

Now, consider John 2:15. Jesus goes into the temple, driving out the moneychangers. Can’t you see a greedy merchant, ticked off at Jesus, going to the temple guards, demanding that they stop Him? I can imagine the guards looking at Jesus, looking at his whip, and then looking back at the merchant, and saying, “Hey pal, I’d like to see YOU go try to stop him!”