by Michael Winters
What did Jesus make during his earthly ministry?
I like to ask this question in a group context and see what answers come to the surface. People usually first think of the most tangible or art-like expressions of making. Someone will point out he was a carpenter (Mark 6:3). Someone will remember that he scribbled in the sand before saving the woman caught in adultery with his words, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” People will think of the miracles. Jesus turned water into wine. Jesus made the blind see, the lame walk. He made fish and loaves of bread multiply to feed thousands. People will think of his famous parables and so many phrases that have become part of our everyday speech.
Then people will think of salvation. Jesus made the way to be reunited with God the Father. And finally, people will think of the kingdom of God. Jesus made the kingdom of God come near and grow like a mustard seed.
In The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard writes, “Saying Jesus is Lord can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate in saying Jesus is smart…He is not just nice, he is brilliant. He is the smartest man who has ever lived.”
Similarly, we can also say Jesus is the most creative person who has ever lived. The effects of his creative work have reverberated through the centuries and have spread across the entire globe.
Jesus’ work while living an incarnate life 2000 years ago—his words and his actions—created a revolution larger and more pervasive than any other in history. Many in his own time wanted him to create a different kind of revolution. They wanted him to create a fast-acting attack on Roman rule. He instead made a peaceful revolution that worked more like yeast working through dough. Jesus’ words and actions spread through Israel and the Roman empire, and they continue working their way through all the religious and political powers today, altering the course of history forever.
Jesus not only lived a perfectly creative life in his time on Earth, but he is also Creator of the universe together with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Colossians 1:15-17 ecstatically celebrates this:
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Jesus. All things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Our life is held together by the most creative person who ever lived.
*Originally posted at sojourn-arts.com.
Michael Winters is an artist and arts organizer living in Louisville, KY. His artwork has been featured in galleries at Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Georgetown College, and Union University. His work has also been featured online on Vice and in print in CIVA’s Seen Journal. He’s director of Sojourn Arts, a ministry of Sojourn Church Midtown where he has curated exhibits and facilitated artist groups since 2007. In addition to his self-published artist books, Michael is the author of Filling Blank Spaces. Michael also founded and operated Material Print Shop from 2015-2019.