Often it can be tempting to relegate Jesus to the spiritual things in life. He’s in charge of forgiving sins, grace, and sanctification (or insert some other “churchy” concept). But when it comes to the nitty-gritty of life, does Jesus really understand?

But in Scripture we see a picture of Jesus, a flesh-and-blood Jesus, walking in and among the people, meeting people where they are. He is up close and personal to the sick, to the lame. This is a Jesus who has to eat because he has a body. This is a picture of God, the God who comes near. We see a picture of Jesus who feels compassion and anger. We begin to see pictures of Jesus who cares not just about people’s souls, but about their bodies and their everyday reality too.

Jesus was widely criticized for helping people because he reached out to those who society saw as worthless, or because he acted in ways that went against the culture of the day. In order to be more like Christ, we need to be equally brave and learn to see people as more important than anything else.

Nikki A. Toyama-Szeto is senior director of biblical justice integration and mobilization at International Justice Mission (IJM). She previously served as program director for InterVarsity’s Urbana Student Missions Conference. Abraham George is director of international church mobilization at IJM. Before joining IJM, Abraham was a pastor and a theology lecturer in India. They are the coauthors of God of Justice. Taken from God of Justice by Abraham George and Nikki A. Toyama-Szeto. Copyright © 2015 International Justice Mission. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA. www.ivpress.com.