1. The Noblest Human Longing
Humanity has always wanted to know God intimately. Part of that is the desire to see God in a human understandable, and even visible form. Some philosophers and psychologists tried to explain it away as a psychological need for a powerful father figure or some fear etc. There may be aspects of all that (or even prominent in some cases), but in its healthy form, it is the desire to know, learn, know the truth, know what is right/good, find meaning/purpose/hope for future, follow, emulate and have relationship with what some called, the maximally excellent/great being (all-knowing, all-good, all-powerful).
That is the highest and noblest of all human pursuits/desires/longing.
2. Do We Have an Answer?
Matthew 8:23-27 narrates an incident where Jesus calms the storm. That was reminiscent of what God did in the Old Testament. The incident seems like a world-by-word occurrence of what was described in Psalm 107:23-32. So the disciples wonder in Matthew 8:27 in amazement: “What kind of man is this?”. A very important question for those in the noblest pursuit described above, as what happened there seems to be very relevant to the noblest human longing described above.
3. Way, Truth, and Life
In John 14:3-4, Jesus says, “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know”. Thomas replies, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Thomas understood that as a way to a physical space/location to go to. So Jesus responds in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
So the answer/destination is the person of the Father, through the person of the Son.
As bro. L.T Jeyachandran puts it, we discover our personality when we come to the person of the Father, through the person of the Son… Salvation is rediscovering your personhood, as we learn to relate to the ultimate Person. Discovering your personhood is the ultimate joy.
4. What Kind of a Man Is This?
While Jesus is the person, the way to the ultimate and the noblest longing, the answer to the question of “What kind of a man is this?” is something we continue to learn, understand, and grow in our understanding as we get to know the person of Jesus more and more intimately.
4.1. Enriching From Different Cultures and Backgrounds
Jesus ticks all the boxes of what makes a perfect person (in all cultures). The way he lived, what he spoke, the manner of his death and resurrection answered the questions of ultimate truth, meaning, purpose, hope for the future, etc. This makes Jesus the fulfillment of what all people of all cultures/backgrounds have aspired for, in their noblest of all humanity’s pursuits.
We, as people from different cultures and backgrounds, as we approach Jesus, we all have something to contribute and enrich our understanding of Jesus!