semi-human.

* He was different because He knew a lot more than we do.

* He was different because He had magical powers that us ordinary mortals don’t have

* He was less physical, certainly less sexual, totally pure in thought and deed, and basically just less earthy than the rest of us.

I just don’t think that’s it. Certainly it’s not the emphasis of the New Testament.

For the New Testament tells us where Jesus was most obviously different, and we’ve already been reading about it this morning:

* He is the Good Shepherd - not like the others who are out to fleece the flock. This shepherd is ready to lay down His life for the sheep.

* That’s what makes Him different. He’s not in it for the money. He’s not in it for the glory. He’s the shepherd who is in it for the sheep.

* He is different in the way He redefines love for us in terms of self-sacrifice.

* He is different in the way He forgives those who damage him.

* He is different because He is honest, frank, real, confrontational, imaginative, free-thinking, focused, compassionate, caring, powerful and demanding.

He was different, but not because he was only semi-human. On the contrary, as Leonardo Boff said, “only God could be so human”. The Jesus we read about in the New Testament was distinctive because He was more human than we are.

This is the stone that the builders rejected - wrong shape, wrong colour, too difficult, too demanding. But the opinion of the builders was subject to the review of the chief architect, who has made this stone, Jesus, the capstone to the entire operation.

“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.”