You’ve heard it said that artisans who are skilled in their work are able to make their craft seem effortless. Consider Michael Jordan; his athleticism and hard work made his artistry baffling; the same with Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, Joe Montana, Cassius Clay, Jack Nicklaus, and many others — all of them masters of their sport. And, of course, this observation is true for persons of any profession, whether it be a recognizable art form such as painting or writing, or something else, like teaching or law or cooking — whatever it may be. The point is that those who are skilled in their calling make it look easy.
I believe Jesus made His calling look effortless as well. Jesus’s calling is to be Christ. God’s Son. Savior of the world. The Way. The Truth. The Life. His calling is to be Himself — the Word. And He is so skilled at this that His Word is unimaginably effortless. The gospels and the Bible in general are written with such clarity and simpleness, with such effortless skill, that I believe they are the tip of an iceberg that reaches far deeper into humanity and into the soul of God than we dare to imagine. Jesus was so skilled in choosing to be sinless, in choosing to be God’s Son, that He made His very identity appear effortless, too. Rarely do we see Him struggling (although we know He did, as evidence in the garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion); His conduct, His character, His righteous interactions with the Pharisees, and His love of all people were carried out with such sinless fluidity that it defies reason; anyone of us at the slightest threat to our lives would have caved and sinned, yet Jesus did not. He made perfection look easy. I can’t imagine that it was easy to do that, to keep choosing the hard road, though it must have been painful. All through His life He thought good thoughts and made good plans and took good actions that are deeper, broader, wider and higher than the world we live in or imagine.
In Isaiah, the prophet wrote that the Messiah would be so humble and gentle that He would not even bruise a reed; and when it came time to die the excruciating, time-altering death, He would not cry out. Jesus fulfilled these prophesies. He did so with the skill of the Master desiring at every moment of life the character, holiness and love of His Father. He made dying on the cross seem effortless.