Home Podcast Erwin McManus: Why Understanding the Genius of Jesus Will Change Your Life

Erwin McManus: Why Understanding the Genius of Jesus Will Change Your Life

“My great distress when I became a Christian and then when I started serving as a pastor was I wanted to belong so badly to the church. I wanted to belong so badly to Christianity. My dilemma wasn’t I wasn’t trying to break out and be rebellious and be different. I was so desperately trying to belong and to be accepted, but every time I opened my mouth and every time I created something, it felt as if it was a violation of the entire culture of Christianity.”

“Wrapping your brain around what a genius is is not easy. It’s one of those interesting things where it’s hard to describe what beauty is. You just know it when you see it. Because the phenomenon of genius is really someone who violates our view of reality.”

“Genius always has to have a domain. You wouldn’t know Mozart was a genius if it wasn’t for music.”

“What really struck me is the reason it’s so easy to overlook Jesus’ genius is that his canvas is the human spirit. That’s where Jesus’ genius is actually translated—in the transformation of individuals.”

“You could spend your entire life with Monet and never learn how to paint. And you could spend your entire life with John Lennon and never learn how to write ‘Yesterday.’ I mean, the reality is that genius is not transferable—except when it comes to Jesus.”

“What makes Jesus a genius is his ability to elevate what it means to be human.”

“There’s some fascinating studies where the inherent genius in people is usually lost by the age of 12. And you have Jesus going to the temple at the age of 12 and you see this window into his genius.”

“What you find is that there’s inherent genius in humans, and that genius is lost. So it’s not about how do I make you a genius? The real question is how do I stop the world around you from diminishing or destroying or supplementing the genius that is intrinsically within you.”

“Many of our theological positions are actually built on on a construction of truth in the Scriptures. The reason we haven’t really seen the genius of Jesus is that that construction has never been meaningful to us.”

“I don’t know how you could read the Bible and not think that God is inherently a genius. In fact, just take a moment and think how absurd it would be to say humans can be geniuses, but God is not.”

“If there’s any expression of genius in the world, it means it’s an expression of the image of God. And in fact, what I would say is that genius is the aberration that reveals to us the capacities that have been lost to us because of our broken relationship with God.”