Have you ever wondered what Jesus’ personality was like? If He were to take a modern personality assessment, what would His results look like? Would Jesus be more of an introvert or an extrovert? While many devoted Christians know a great deal about Jesus, there are other parts of His life that they aren’t as familiar with, including elements of His personality. We can discover Jesus’ personality type by turning to the Bible.
There are many examples in scripture that display Jesus as sociable, outgoing and focused on people. These are all factors that would label Jesus an extrovert. Extroverts are typically described as action-oriented, talkative and friendly. They also enjoy sharing their thoughts and feelings and working with groups of people, all things that Jesus did. We can also look at the age Jesus began to preach. He started doing ministry as an adolescent. Scripture describes a moment when Jesus was found at 12 years old preaching in the temple to adults. Luke 2:46-47 says, “Three days later they finally discovered [Jesus] in the temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with Him, impressed with the sharpness of His answers…” Extroverts aren’t afraid to talk to crowds and groups of people. At that moment, all eyes were on Him, even though being the center of attention was not His focus.
Many personality traits would point to Jesus being an introvert. Let’s take a look at Mark 6:45-46, the passage that talks about Jesus walking on water: “Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, He went up on a mountainside to pray.” Jesus used His alone time to communicate with God and energize Himself. This may indicate that He was aware that it helps to have time to have fully formed thoughts before He spoke and the importance of recharging. These are very common traits of introverts.
Another quality about Jesus that points to Him being introverted was how He valued close friendships. He enjoyed spending time with His friends in what we can call “table fellowship.” This means He enjoyed sharing meals with those He connected with. Some of Jesus’ closest friends included Peter, James and beloved John. He shared some of His most glorious moments, like His transfiguration, with them. He also shared some of His most painful moments with them, like the Agony in the Garden. What separates these disciples from others is that they knew Him the best. They also knew the price Jesus was paying personally to do God’s Will. They knew not only who Jesus was on the outside but also who He was on the inside. They were aware of His joys and also His fears. This is what makes Peter and James’ abandonment of Jesus, noted on Good Friday, so painful. We can have many acquaintances in our lives. We can also have many friends, but we share our most intimate moments with those who know us best. Jesus reserved His most intimate moments for His inner circle, a classic characteristic of an introvert.
There are a lot of interesting qualities about Jesus’ personality. One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that Jesus had a sense of humor. Many of us think Jesus was always serious. This is often because we think of Him in the context of His deity and ministry. The truth is Jesus had a sense of humor. He had lighthearted moments and laughed. We are reminded in John 1:14 that Jesus was fully human. He was born as a human and was still completely divine. This means He was wholly God and wholly man. We can get a glimpse of Jesus’ humor in Matthew 7:3-5. The passage says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” If you take this literally, these verses will seem not only funny but also silly. Imagine someone with a large piece of wood in their eye. This is humor with a bigger purpose.
Jesus was also fiercely intentional during His three years of ministry, to the point where He was able to do more in a short period than what many do in an entire lifetime. During His earthly life, Jesus stayed focus on His life’s purpose and His overall mission. This was do the Father’s will. Introverts are most comfortable when they can focus on their inner thoughts and ideas. They are commonly reflective, self-aware, take time to make decisions and retreat to their own mind to rest. These are all qualities we see reflected in Jesus.
Ultimately, Jesus displayed the personality traits of both introverts and extroverts. People often think that being introverted or extroverted is an all-or-nothing stamp on a person’s personality. Psychologists generally place introverts and extroverts on a scale. Some people are more introverted than others. Some fall somewhere in the middle of the scale. People in the middle are considered ambiverts. Those who are introverts usually have some extroverted traits mixed in with their introverted traits and vice versa. Ultimately, there is a large range of ways to be introverted and extroverted.
While we may not know everything about Jesus’ personality, we can still gain a great deal from scripture. There are many surprises hidden throughout the gospel, even for devout Christians. Thankfully, we can uncover more about the life and times of Jesus. As Christians, we must be clear about who Jesus is. Knowing who Jesus was as a person can help.