Was Jesus a social butterfly?

I could really use your help.  Below are my thoughts for this weekend’s message.  This is what I write first (all thoughts that come to my mind.)  Then, I begin to organize them by putting them into points or practical pieces that people can relate to and adding stories/antidotes.  Could you read over and give me more ideas, thoughts or scripture?

When you read the gospel accounts of Jesus Christ’s life, you get a picture of His encounter with everyday people.  He was bold and yet sensitive.  Powerful and humble.  Influential and personal.  Jesus seems to be God not only because He could walk on water, but also because he obtained every social trait we all desire.  Looking across the extensive stories through out Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we see an extremely balanced social role model.

Luke 2:52 says that Jesus grew or ‘increased’ in 4 ways.  He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.  Basically, He grew intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially.  Let’s look only at the social part.  Jesus, whom most of my readers will agree is God in the flesh, actually grew.  When He was born in the manger, he was not fully developed.  Why would the King of the World need to be socially proficient?  Couldn’t He simply wave His hand and make people like Him?  Sure, He had that power, but from the beginning of the world God has loved a true and authentic relationship with us.  In order for Jesus to relate to us, He had to become like us in every way.  He was a man that talked, laughed, cried, embraced, and everything else that was acceptable and normal to that culture.

The point of this post?  He GREW in his social skills.  Therefore, we must GROW in our social skills.  What are you doing as a mature adult to grow your social skills?  Why should we care about the status of our social skills when we feel like we are doing just fine the way we are?

We need to grow socially so that we can:
•    Be healthy ourselves – our own health is contingent on relationships with others.  God created us to thrive in relationship.  To give and to receive can only happen when you are socially relating to others.  God created the world so that it is powered by giving and receiving.  So, for your OWN good you need to be in healthy social environments.
•    To complete your tasks from God – to walk in God’s will and plan  you need to Grow Socially.  1.  We evangelize the world through social relationships. 2.  We serve and love our neighbor through social relationships.

Jesus increased in His favor with Man. (socially).  He had to make an impact with people. So, people had to want to be around Him.  So, He had to relate and be appealing to them.  Jesus made choices to be social and GROW relationally.  God opens doors.  We have to walk through them.

Jesus was not a Stiff – He couldn’t have been boring or dull.  Examples of His preaching show that the message was always illustrated in detail.  He used props and venues that were applicable to the culture.

Jesus was not a snob – He was not an elitist, prideful, or prejudiced.  He dined with all sorts of people.  He related to everyone.  Even broke the rules to minister to someone that was interested in Him.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity.
He discovered that Humans need to
•    feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs (“Safety in numbers”), or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants).
•    love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others.

In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and Clinical depression.
This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, ignores the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging.


About pastorrobin

Hello. I pastor PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, TX. I am married to Erica, and we have 3 kids: Kennady, Jude, and Avery. All little ones! Visit our church site at www.psmchurch.com

Posted on January 29, 2009, in Daily Word. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Jesus was well balanced in EVERYTHING He did. We often are mistaken by attempting to give our 100% to many things at once. We cannot do that. For ex. if we give 60% to work because that’s a priority, then we only have 40% to divide elsewhere…spouse may get 15%, kids etc. This varies form day to day as we all know. We literally drain ourselves. We mistake that with giving all you can (100%) to what you’re focused on at any specific time. Jesus wasn’t easily swayed or distracted. He made people feel important and that they were the only thing that mattered in that moment. We get so caught up with our busy schedules that we usually don’t take time for others as He did. As in the hierarchy of needs, we seek this belonging by commonalities and in hopes that somebody will just plain ol’ accept us. However, Jesus wasn’t ‘trying’ to be accepted. That’s where we are yet again mistaken. It’s the social skills that He had…many times we don’t use our manners…If you look up aspergers you’ll see that it’s a difficulty with socail interaction, limited empathy and linguistic and cognitive development. (not to make light of this condition in any way) but in our ‘microwave’ world of technology (with email, texts, im,) it’s a wonder that we all haven’t been diagnosed. sorry for rambling

  2. Robin, this is awesome and very vulnerable of you to put your initial thoughts and draft out there!

    I pray this prayer for my kids and for every new baby in our church family. That they would grow in wisdom (in knowledge, mentally), in strength (general physical health), and in favor with God (that they would come to know Jesus at an early age and walk with God throughout their life) and men (that people would find favor in them and be drawn to them, that they would be leaders).

    Also, when I think of the social area, I’m thinking of the purpose of fellowship and connection in the church. I would probably use this as an opportunity to talk about the importance of being a part of our small groups.

    And as you pointed out, relational evangelism is the most effective way to lead someone toward a relationship with Jesus. I think the most loving thing you can do for someone is to befriend them for the purpose of leading them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Parents are concerned about the ways their children develop social skills and being an active part of a church family is one way to make sure our kids develop in this area.

    I didn’t add any scripture with this stuff, but it looks like you’ve got a good biblical foundation for it. Knock it outta the park!!!

  3. This year our family is making it a point to spend more time with friends, family and people we are trying to reach out to. Growing socially involves an investment of time. I have also learned that growing socially takes courage. I am not naturally an outgoing person, so making new relationships or reaching out to people is often uncomfortable for me (even writing a response to this blog is out of my comfort zone). When we first came to PSM, everyone was so kind and friendly. This allowed us to make connections and feel at home. I am thankful to the wonderful people of PSM who may have stepped out of their comfort zone and made my family feel like we belonged. I want to grow socially and invest more time in reaching out to someone who needs a connection. Pastor, thank you for preaching the Word to us! I can’t wait to hear the sermon!

  4. Was Jesus a Social Butterfly? He would be better described as “all things to all people”. He fit the need. He wasn’t a social butterfly. He had the ability, the gift to recognize the need in others and meet that need. He found something in common with every human being; men, women, children, sinner and saints. He listened and thought before He spoke.

    I believe that as Spirit-filled believers, we can identify something in common with each person we meet as well. That becomes our “in” for sharing Jesus. The “in” may be as simple as showing interest in a person’s family…not just showing interest but being genuinely interested.

  5. WOW! quite a read in this blog from Pastor & others
    After reading, do I still need to come to church this weekend?? 🙂

  6. Powerful sermon this weekend! Thank you God & Pastor! It really hit home. I am working on those topics listed.

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