Something is missing. That something is Jesus. Pastor Charles Edward Jefferson explains why the time for studying Jesus’s character is now.

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“I invite you to contemplate with me the character of Jesus. . . . The time is ripe for a restudy of his character and career. We have fallen upon distracted and distracting days. The world is crying out for something, it scarce knows what. Wealth has come, but the heart is hungry; knowledge has come, but life for many has slipped into a riddle and delusion. The world is filled with the inventions of human skill and genius, but there is a vast emptiness which neither science nor art is able to fill.”

Selves Falling Short

“Some of us are discontented with ourselves. We are restless, unsatisfied, bewildered. We carry with us a consciousness of failure. We feel we are falling short of what we ought to be. Life in spite of our efforts is meager and disappointing. Loaded with many possessions we cry, ‘What lack I yet?'”

“It may be wise, therefore, to turn aside from the path we have been traveling and listen for a season to Jesus of Nazareth. It may be that he has the secret for which we have been searching. . . . On approaching him we hear him saying: ‘Follow me! Learn of me! Eat me! Abide in me!’ It would seem that he offers us all good things on condition that we become like him. But what is he like? What is his disposition, temper, attitude, nature? Surely all who are discontented with themselves will want to study the character of Jesus.”

Time Out of Joint

“There are others of us who are discontented, not so much with ourselves as with the world. The time is out of joint, and we are sick at heart because no one seems to be wise or strong enough to set it right. Government is corrupt, the church seems dead or dying, the home is a failure or scandal, society is superficial and tainted, the social order is ready for the burning, the economic system is a burden and curse, the whole framework of the world needs to be reconstructed, and, alas, who is sufficient for so herculean a task?”

“When we open our New Testament, we find a man looking at us who although not a professional revolutionist has been the cause of many revolutions, and who although not a disturber of the peace has repeatedly turned the world upside down. He is not numbered among the radicals because in his radicalism he outstrips them all. . . . He has much to say about authority and power, and it is his claim that he can make all things new. . . . Surely all of those who are sick of the world as it is and who long for the coming of a world which shall be better, must, if they are wise, come to Jesus of Nazareth for his secret of pulling down the strongholds of iniquity and establishing righteousness and peace.”

Heart of a Man

“When we study his method, we discover that his supreme concern is for the rightness of heart of the individual man. This molder of empires gives himself to the task of molding individual men. This arch-revolutionist starts his conflagrations in the individual soul. He draws one man to him, infuses into him a new spirit, sends him after one brother man, who in time goes after a third man, and this third man after a fourth, and thus does he weld a chain by means of which Caesar shall be dragged from his throne.”

“Strange as it may seem, he has nothing to say about heredity, and stranger still nothing to say about environment. He keeps his eyes upon the soul, and by changing this he alters the environment and also the currents of the blood down through many generations. . . . This Reformer of Nazareth acts and speaks as though environment is not a matter of brick and plaster but rather of human minds and hearts. Men are made what they are, not by pavements and houses, but by the men among whom they live.”

“Would you change the environment, then begin by a transformation of men; and would you transform men, then begin by a transformation of some particular man. It is by changing the character of a man that we change the character of other men, and by changing the character of many men we change the character of institutions and ultimately of empires and civilizations. When Jesus says, ‘Behold I make all things new,’ he lays his hand on the heart of a man.”

Christ Character

“Here then is Jesus’ own secret for making an old world over. He will introduce golden ages by giving individuals a character like his own. His character is a form of power mightier than the legions of Caesar or the wisdom of the greatest of the schools.”

“There are many fussy and noisy workers, many a blatant and spectacular leader, reformers are often plausible and dashing, and revolutionists impress us by their schemes of creating a world which is new, but after all there is no more effective worker for the world’s redemption than the man or woman who in high or obscure places, strives, in season and out of season, to persuade men to conform their lives to the pattern presented to us in the character of Jesus; and no one is advancing so swiftly toward the golden age as the man or woman who by prayer and daily effort endeavors to build up in mind and spirit the virtues and graces of the Man of Galilee.”

Excerpts from The Character of Jesus by Charles Edward Jefferson (Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1908)

50 thoughts

  1. Friends, here are a few questions to ask yourself to get the most out of this character study: How well do you know the character of Jesus? Do you know Him only by hearsay? Do you know Him only as doctrine, as theology? Or do you know Him well enough that the world can see Him in you?

    Want to know Jesus better? Join us in classes on the character of the King! Scroll down and post a prayerful reply, and we will email details to you.

  2. I know a lot about Jesus because I study the Bible extensively. I am retired and have lots of time. But this knowledge does not travel from my head to my heart more often than I would like. This heart knowledge is what changes me, but it only happens one teaspoon at a time.

  3. I have been in pursuit of a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I want to know Him more. I agree with the comments earlier that it can be in your head but sometimes difficult to keep in your heart. It is a journey I am glad to be on.

  4. I agree that knowledge needs to move from the head and into obedience — and this is coming from someone who spent 7 years in Bible school and then on to seminary. I think there is a longing to know Jesus in a new and refreshing way in our society. Hopefully this study can help!

  5. I have been a Christian most of my life but I am longing for a deeper relationship with Jesus. I want to feel his presence more. I am glad to be on this journey.

  6. I know JESUS in my heart. I trust Him, but I desire my FAITH to be much much stronger than it is. Some days are tough, but I yet strive to remain focused on Him. Is there more that I need to do? Your response will be deeply appreciated.

  7. My prayer today is based on the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians: I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection.

  8. I am a believer, and my pastor is a great teacher. I’ve just been feeling stuck and out of sorts for the past few months. I am hoping this study will help. Blessings.

  9. I never want to stop learning about Jesus. The closer I get to Him, the more I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of all that He is. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this study. May it sink deep into my heart!
    — Suzie
    ThirstForJoy.com

  10. I find the character of Jesus very helpful. It helped me understand about my faith and how to carry it along. Thank you for these studies. I hope to learn more from you and others. Thank you.

  11. So glad I found this website. Tired of being a baby Christian. 50 years old, saved and baptized as a child.

  12. I am thankful for this study, and I’m thankful that there are fellow believers who would take the time out to put it together. I am exited to see what God is going to do! Thank you.

  13. To know Jesus would make a great difference in my life because through me others would also know.

  14. As a child of God, I want to go deeper into him. I want to know more about his son Jesus Christ, the Lord of my life.

  15. I am excited to begin this journey. I want to know Jesus more and for him to be an integral part of my life every day.

  16. I want to develop an unbreakable bond and relationship with my Lord and Savior, and to walk in his will daily.

  17. I know Jesus and love Him. I pray everyday that I may learn better how to give my life to Him. The steps in executing this (giving my life to Jesus) have not been straightforward, but the path has been rewarding.

  18. Jesus is my boss both in my private life and in ministry. He, the Living One, has become very real to me, yet there is so much about His person and character that I don’t know. Oh, how I long to know more and more about Him.

  19. Always looking for ways to draw closer to my Lord. Looking forward to this character study. God bless & thank you!

  20. I have known Jesus my whole life in my head, but in my heart and in my soul I haven’t known him. Last week He moved within me with such a fire that I am beginning to truly know him. My desire now is to learn what He desires for me.

  21. I’ve been a Christian a long time. I just want a closer walk with Him and to feel His presence and to see His face in the spirit.

  22. There is nothing more that I want than to have a very intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I need Him to be involved in every aspect of my life. Not just in big things but in every small detail of my everyday life. I have come to realize that when I stray a few degrees to the left or right, I find that it becomes hard to breathe in this world. I have come to the realization I can do nothing without Him. I want to study Him just as I drink and eat for survival.

  23. I am a Christian. I know Jesus but would love to have a deeper understanding of him. I would love to learn how to make my prayers work like him.

  24. I know Jesus Christ is a savior for mankind through his ransom sacrifice, and also performed a lot of miracles that he’s still performing. However, there is a struggle in my life. The problem is, I compromise too much. I do it often and regret my actions later. I need help to turn my focus to Jesus. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to study Christ Jesus with you. Spiritual growth and living righteously is my goal. Please help me!

    Sincerely,
    Nana

  25. My faith is having that oneness with God deeper than it is now. To study, read, and pray means getting closer to Jesus, the Lord of this earth. Your study on Jesus’ character will hopefully be a great help. Thank you for the awesome information you will share.

  26. I have always been either deep or shallow with Jesus. I want to be a man with a passion for Christ all the time!

  27. I am a believer, but I have yet a lot more work to be done on me. I need to be conformed to His Word, so that I can be more like Him.

  28. I want Jesus in my heart. I want his will, for him to use me to reach others for the kingdom, and for others to see Jesus in me.

  29. I accepted Jesus when I was 7 years old. Now, at 69 years of age, my continued desire is a closer love relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  30. I have a personal relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, I want my relationship to grow more on an intimate level. I long to be more like Jesus and to have a more intimate relationship with him.

  31. Thank you for this teaching. I love my Lord and Savior. I want to be more like Jesus and have his character.

  32. I’ve been struggling in my life with many things. I grew up in church but have not lived a godly lifestyle. I want to get closer to him and know that he can hear me. I know he is a God of justice and a God of forgiveness. Every day is a struggle for me. In many ways I need him more than ever and to not forget about him during the day, to keep him in me at all times.

  33. I just finished this study and read the comments with my daughter, Sarah.

    Many believers who commented desire to know Jesus better. Some sound discouraged and in need of direction.

    Here’s the good news: Jesus promises that those who seek Him will find Him (Matthew 7:7-8). It takes consistent effort and the daily decision to focus on Him, but the reward is well worth the effort. We don’t have to be perfect — just persistent. He will make up for whatever we lack.

    Imitating Him and obeying His commands leads to freedom and joy! I fail often, but I get up again and again. That’s all He asks. Repentance, confession, humility, and a heart surrendered to Him. What a Savior!

  34. I have attended church since I was an adolescent, but I did not know or have a relationship with Jesus, because I never actually studied the Word of God so that I could build my own relationship with him. I started to study the Bible in my adulthood and started feeling a great transformation in my life. But then it seemed like I fell off and started making excuses as to why I couldn’t study my Bible, just letting everyday life get in the way. Lately, I have been feeling like I am missing something, and now I know what it is: I am missing that connection with Jesus. So I am praying for my spirit to be renewed in Christ and also to rebuild the relationship with Jesus that I have been missing. I know something about God’s Word from my studies, but there is a lot I need to learn so that I may be the person God has destined me to be, so I am able not only to speak the Word of God, but also that it shows in my character and my actions.

  35. I want to be closer to Jesus, whom I love. I am feeling he has something for me to do. I don’t know what it is yet, but I have never felt like this before. When I am praying, I can feel it. But I have also heard in my spirit that I am not ready for the task. I need to prepare, and I need to know him better.

  36. How well do I know the character of Jesus? I know He is perfect in every way! Kind, understanding, gentle, but definitely not a pushover. Compassionate, obedient to the Father. I am striving to be more like Jesus. In addition to morning prayer time, GodTreks is enabling me to go deeper in pursuit of knowing Jesus. I feel very blessed to have the time to devote to studying the character of Jesus.

  37. I was introduced to Jesus at a young age. As I got older, I learned the true meaning of God, and not simply that believing in him will get you into heaven. I want to build an intimate relationship with God, and build my faith.

  38. I am looking to know Jesus more through reading God’s word. The more I draw closer to him, the more I have a sense of belonging. I came to Jesus in 2012, a little over 4 years ago. I believe, though, my spiritual path started in 2008 through a spiritual awakening; it was a transformation from the inside. Gradually, I have grown in Christ, and it has been quite humbling. Yeah, it’s all surreal sometimes lol. It’s not easy, but life makes sense more these days. Thank you 💛 God’s Great Grace.

  39. His character is unmoveable and unshakeable. He is the King. He cannot lie. He gives true peace, true meaning, true purpose. He walked the walk. Can I walk this walk? Can I deny myself? Can I tie the servant’s apron, as He did? He was selfless, not selfish. He had the hardest life anyone has ever lived. He was an extreme out-of-the-box thinker.

    Thankful, faithful, wise, friendly, good, challenging, honest, kind. He laid down His life for us. He told us to work out our salvation daily, with fear and trembling. We must go through much trial and tribulation, just like He did. Yet Jesus’ ways are not grievous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I have a feeling Jesus was not a heavy person, but had a rather light personality. I have to believe this — He is the only one who can save your life.

  40. I know Jesus and consider him as my friend. I have a personal relationship with Jesus, but I believe I am only in the beginning stages. I would like to deepen my relationship with Jesus and broaden my understanding of him, growing in spirit and strengthening my faith.

  41. I have been a believer for over 30 years, but sometimes I feel like I stand on ‘shifting sands’ because of my own inconsistency. As a family we have been through 3 very difficult years with bereavements and major illness. I want to be the sort of believer that stands firm upon the rock of my Lord and Saviour Jesus and turns to him before anything or anyone else. To do this I want to learn how to be more Christlike and to have more of his character.

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