Attractive or Unattractive?
Research seems to suggest that the more physically attractive you are, the more successful you’re likely to be. You’ll be noticed more, do better in interviews and have a better chance of ‘doing well’ in life. This is a sad fact, but it does unmask how humanity is pulled towards the attractive. Of course, it isn’t just the ‘physical’ that attracts us, we’re attracted to characteristics and ideas too.
There is a strong and growing trend in our country that dismisses Christianity as unattractive. You don’t have to be a militant atheist to believe this, just the average person in the UK who sees no need for Christianity. Many are indifferent. Many stay clear. And because of this – many fail to see how attractive Christianity is.
Gandhi famously said, ‘I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ’. Sadly, this is true. Many Christians do not act or look like the person they are following – the most influential person in history, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
But that shouldn’t surprise you. Christians never claim to be perfect. However, they do claim to follow someone who is. Someone whose heart and teaching and actions are so overwhelmingly attractive, we should consider Jesus before dismissing the whole of Christianity.
So, let me give you three reason why Jesus is an attractive option you shouldn’t simply dismiss.
When we want to know what people are really like, we want to know deep down what their character or personality is like. How would you describe them to others?
We learn from one of the biographies of Jesus that Jesus is fundamentally ‘gentle and lowly in heart’. This means he is not proud or heavy-handed, but kind and loving. Jesus is the kind of person who looks out for the outcast, who sticks up for the untouchables. We see him comforting the weary and helping the sick. In a society obsessed with prestige, status and patronage he encourages us to invite the poor and destitute, not the rich and powerful, to our homes.
More than any other word, Jesus is described as ‘compassionate’ in the gospels. His heart is bigger and wider than we could ever imagine or consider. His heart for us is soft and tender. His love for us is overwhelming.
As one writer says, ‘Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms’.
Why not consider who he is by reading one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John?
Jesus taught many things. But one thing that stands out is his teaching on love. Yes, he emphasised the need to love God – which is vital, but he also taught the need to love each other; a love so powerful that it could overcome ethnic and social prejudices.
In one of his most famous stories, he talked about the Good Samaritan. He told it to illustrate who your neighbour was and what love looked like. Shockingly, to the Jews listening, he used a Samaritan as his example – who for a Jew was religiously, socially and ethnically a traitor and an outcast. And Jesus depicts him as the hero of the story!
Jesus is saying love needs to extend beyond who looks like us and thinks like us. And like the story of the Good Samaritan – love is active and costly.
Jesus even taught us to love our enemies, which was unheard of in his day. It is from this teaching on love that Jesus teaches us to forgive.
In a world where we’d rather hate and cancel one another, Jesus teaches the power of forgiveness.
The comedian Marcus Brigstocke, wrote:
‘I want a personal God who loves us all in a way that goes beyond words. A God who fills us with a sort of reassuring and magical light. A God who is the very expression of love so perfect that to feel all of it at once would be to lose yourself for ever in a place of sublime happiness’.
Marcus isn’t a Christian but, incredibly, what he longs for is seen through Jesus – in his heart and his teaching.
But there’s one more thing that makes Jesus so attractive.
His Death & Resurrection
Sacrifice and hope are powerful and emotive concepts. Sacrifice is one of the highest expressions of love. Of course, we make lots of mini sacrifices in our relationships, but the ultimate sacrifice is to lay down your life for those we love.
We see this at a national level every November on Remembrance Sunday. We honour the sacrifice of soldiers who were willing to give up their lives for us. Their sacrifice ensures our freedoms. The poppy is a powerful reminder of this. A reminder of sacrifice.
In a similar and even more powerful way, the cross is a symbol and reminder of sacrifice. Jesus’ death on the cross was his sacrifice for you. Out of sheer love he was willing to take your place as a rebel against God. He was willing to take your punishment, so you might have the freedom of knowing God in a loving relationship.
But inseparable from his death is his resurrection. At the heart of resurrection is the promise of life. Jesus’ resurrection taps into our fears of death, suffering and evil. Christianity claims the risen Jesus is the answer to those fears. That the resurrection is the foretaste of a new creation where there will be no more death, suffering or evil. Tears will be no more because pain will be no more.
Isn’t that an attractive thought?
In fact, given Jesus’ heart – that he is compassionate and loving; that he is gentle and lowly. Considering Jesus’s teaching – the radical and inclusive power of love, a love that unites cultures and families and enemies and offers forgiveness. And considering Jesus’s death and resurrection – his sacrifice for you and the hope he gives of a better tomorrow – why wouldn’t you at the very least explore the most influential person in history and check out Christianity for yourself.
We’d love to hear from you!
 See www.businessinsider.com/beautiful-people-make-more-money-2014-11?r=US&IR=T
 Matthew 11:29
 Luke 14:12-13
 Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, p. 19.
 Luke 10:25-37.
 Luke 6:27.
 Luke 6:37.
 Marcus Brigstocke, God Collar: Are You There God? It’s Me Marcus, p.54.