By every indication, Mr. Rogers’ advocacy and love for children were real. For over 30 years and 998 TV episodes, his relaxed “won’t you be my neighbor” approach helped a generation of kids to learn a lot about themselves and life.
As a former Presbyterian minister, Fred Rogers would undoubtedly be the first to say, though, that no one loves kids as much as Jesus. No matter how old we are, Jesus gave all of us reason to run to him like little children looking for the only real source of love we will ever find (Mark 10:14-15).
So what gives us reason to believe Jesus was authentic? I’ll take a stab at it. See what you can add.
As evidence of Jesus’ authenticity, it seems significant that:
Streetwise people are known for seeing through hypocrisy. Yet, public sinners found themselves drawn to give their lives to him.
He didn’t betray his mission by indulging himself at the expense of those who trusted him.
Jesus encouraged his listeners not just to hear his words, but to watch what he did.
Because he had no sin or double-life to hide, he had no need to cover-up, manipulate, or posture in an attempt to hide something that he didn’t want others to know.
Since his goal was to please the Father rather than others, he could be inner directed rather than being swayed by the pressures of whatever group he was with.
Even though others accused Jesus of being a fake, and even empowered by the devil, he showed by the quality of his life, by the willing sacrifice of his death, and by the power of his resurrection, that he is the standard by which all others can be measured.
By every indication, Jesus showed that no one loves children– like us– as much as he does!
But now, what do we do with such thoughts? Do the ways in which Christ is authentic only tell us about him? Or are there also indications here for what it will take for us to be real in our own journey of faith?