What Was Jesus’ Personality Type?

Category: Famous Types

Do you ever wonder what Jesus Christ’s personality was like? Have you felt curious at times about what he was like as a son, neighbor, friend, student, teacher? What kind of experience do you suppose it was to interact with him?

As the holidays approach, many of us find our minds and hearts turning toward Jesus even more than they might normally. After all, for Christians like myself, he’s the reason for the season! The four Gospels in the New Testament show us how he acted and reacted in a number of different situations. But what was he really like, to those who knew him best and those encountering him for the first time? What were his type preferences?

Of course, we can’t know for sure since we can’t ask him how he was energized (E or I), how he took in information (S or N) and used it to make decisions (T or F), or how he oriented himself to the outer world (J or P). We can get some ideas by reading about him in the Bible, but as with each of us, Jesus himself would have to be the final judge of what his personality preferences were.

Nonetheless it is interesting and informative to search the Gospels to see how he handled a variety of situations and for clues as to what his personality preferences might have been. The Gospel of Mark is the shortest and most concise, with a mere 26 pages in my Bible compared to 32 for John, 41 for Matthew and 45 for Luke. So Mark is the one I looked at the most to gather evidence about Jesus’ type preferences. If you have a Bible handy, perhaps you’d like to follow along as I share what I discovered!

Imagine that Jesus had the chance to take a modern personality inventory. What would the results look like? The first letter in his type code, the four letters which denote one’s personality type, would have been either E for Extraversion or I for Introversion. A preference for Extraversion means one is energized by the outer world and is active, outgoing, and focused on people and things. People with this preference process outwardly, thinking as they speak, and their motto could be “Live it, then understand it.”

On the other hand, a preference for Introversion means one is energized in his or her inner world and is reflective, focused on thoughts and concepts. These people process inwardly, thinking before they speak, and their motto could be “Understand it, before living it.” 1

Which of these descriptions sounds most like Jesus? Certainly he can be seen as outgoing, sociable and focused on people, all characteristics of a preference for Extraversion. But what stands out to me like bright stars against a black sky are verses like Mark 1:35 where we are told that “...in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.” This was after a busy day which had involved teaching and preaching in the synagogues and healing people. And Mark 6:46 says “And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.”

I believe that Jesus needed this time alone, not only to communicate with God but also to energize himself, either to prepare for what was to come, as in 1:35, or to immediately recharge himself after time with others, as in 6:46. I also believe he understood life before living it and had his thoughts fully formed before he spoke. These are all hallmarks of Introversion.

The second letter in Jesus’ type code was either S for Sensing or N for Intuition, two ways of taking in information. Sensing types, who make up as much as 70% of the U.S. population (and I assume of the rest of the world as well) focus on the realities of the present, such as specifics and factual, concrete information. They tend to see the trees rather than the forest. In sharp contrast, Intuitives focus on future possibilities, seeing patterns, associations and connections between facts. They tend to see the forest rather than the trees.

I have no trouble seeing Jesus focusing on the importance of each person and taking care of each situation as it arose. He was undeniably great with details. For example, Mark 5:43, which is about raising a girl from the dead, concludes by saying that Jesus “...told them to give her something to eat.”

But what stands out more to me is his interest in the big picture and the future. In Mark 1:17, for instance, we are told that “And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.’ “ He saw not only who his disciples were, but who they could and would become.

His teaching style also appears to be indicative of Intuition. Those with a preference for Sensing would probably be more straightforward and easy to understand. They are more down-to-earth and literal in their speech than Intuitives. Though Jesus spoke about ordinary parts of life for his audiences, I’m sure the leap between his earthly examples and their spiritual parallels left most of his followers with rapidly spinning heads. For example, in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:3) Jesus taught about farming, which was a regular and prominent aspect of people’s lives. But would they naturally make the connection between a farmer sowing seeds and God sowing his word into people’s hearts? Mark 4:10 indicates that this parable wasn’t well understood. This fits with the presumption that most of his hearers had a preference for Sensing.

Once we take in information, we use it to make decisions. The next letter in Jesus’ type code would reflect the way he made decisions: T for Thinking or F for Feeling. Those with a preference for Thinking make decisions on the basis of objective and impersonal criteria. They seek rational order by using logic and they value justice and fairness. Feeling types, on the other hand, make decisions using subjective criteria as they weigh human values and motives. They value kindness and harmony.

In John 8:3-11 Jesus had an encounter with a woman caught in adultery who, according to the Law of Moses, deserved to be stoned. Several later manuscripts suggest he wrote on the ground a list of all the sins of the scribes and Pharisees who brought the woman to him. Then he said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:7).” After the scribes and Pharisees all walked away, he told the woman that he did not condemn her either.

To me this is a clear indication of a preference for Feeling. Justice, valued by Thinking types, would have most likely leaned toward her being stoned. Thus John 8:5-6 states that the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus what he had to say about the woman, who the law commanded should be stoned, “... to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.” But kindness, valued by Feeling types, liberated her for a fresh start in a life free from the sin that had ensnared her.

On the other hand, though, Jesus often fought against tradition and the status quo, as in Mark 11:15-18 when he overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the temple, and Mark 12:38 when he warned people to beware of the scribes. Perhaps his tendency to turn tradition on its head indicates a preference for Thinking rather than Feeling. Isabel Myers’s brilliant book, Gifts Differing, which I highly recommend, says that Thinking types “Contribute to the welfare of society by the intellectual criticism of its habits, customs, and beliefs, by the exposure of wrongs, solution of problems…” That does sound a lot like Jesus. Perhaps he was more of a Thinker when dealing with the sinfulness of a hard-hearted society, and showed his Feeling side when dealing with individual sinners who knew they were in need of mercy.

The final letter in Jesus’ type code might be the most debatable of all: J for Judging or P for Perceiving, two ways of orienting oneself toward the outer world. Judging types are interested in controlling their lives, which they like to have settled and planned. They like setting goals, organizing, scheduling and deciding. In contrast, flexible and spontaneous Perceiving types prefer to let life happen, are undaunted by surprises, and tend to react to life by inquiring about and absorbing it. They prefer adapting to whatever it brings their way and changing as necessary.

Jesus shows the characteristics of a Judging type in that he seemed to have a clear plan for his life, to know who he was and what his purpose was, from the beginning of his ministry, if not from the very beginning of his life. Yet, like a Perceiving type, he also seemed to be flexible and able to shift gears quickly, not minding terribly when his plans were interrupted. In Mark 6:31 he invited the apostles to join him in escaping to a lonely place for some rest. But a crowd of people met them there and, having compassion on them, Jesus taught them instead of resting.

It might almost be anyone’s guess what the fourth letter in Jesus’ type code was. Perhaps he did not have a clear preference. But I once read that Judgers focus on responsibility while Perceivers focus on discovery, two very different life purposes. When looked at this way, I believe his preference, though perhaps only slight or moderate, was most likely for Judging.

If the conclusions I’ve drawn are correct, Jesus had preferences for INFJ or perhaps INTJ, INFP or INTP. This might explain why he stood out so much from the crowd, aside from the fact that, for those who believe in him, he was the son of God. INFJ is the rarest of the 16 personality types, at least in the U. S., making up only 2% - 3% of our population. INTJ, INFP and INTP are not far behind at 3% - 4%, 4% - 5%, and 5% - 6% of our population, respectively. Among males INFJs are even rarer, making up only 1% - 2% of men in the U. S.2

Regardless of who we think Jesus is, he did live as a man with human personality preferences. As such, he makes an interesting study for those of us who are fascinated by personality type. When I look at him I see clear preferences for Introversion and Intuition, but can see the logic in arguments for preferences on both sides of the other two dichotomies.

Perhaps this is because Jesus’ preferences in these dichotomies may have been only slight. Perhaps his preferences were clear but don’t always seem so because he transcended them, always manifesting the appropriate preferences for each situation, to model perfect type development for us.

We all flex between Introversion and Extraversion, Sensing and Intuition, etc., as appropriate to our situation. We do this more accurately and skillfully the more advanced our type development becomes. Most of us take a lifetime to become comfortable in the use of all our type preferences, but I am not surprised that Jesus had such perfect command of his preferences, even at such a relatively young age.

After all, if we believe that Jesus created the many-hued fabric of human personality with its eight preferences, should we not also believe that he is the ultimate authority on how to use them?

_

What do you think Jesus’ type preferences were, and why? If you follow someone other than Jesus, feel free to tell us his or her personality preferences, if known, or what you think they are and why.

 

References:

1 Isabel Briggs Myers with Peter B. Myers, Gifts Differing (Palo Alto: Davies-Black Publishing, 1995), pp. 56, 68.

2 “Estimated Frequencies of the Types in the United States Population,” Center for Applications of Psychological Type, 1996.

Gayle Weinraub

A native of New England, Gayle Weinraub has worked in the educational assessment industry in San Antonio, TX since 1995. She first learned about personality type in 1989, became certified to use the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator® assessment in 1998, and has maintained a Web site and blog about personality type since February 2013. When not writing blogs about personality type or searching for what she calls blog food (the ideas and observations which will hopefully eventually turn into blogs), she can usually be found enjoying Volksmarches (a sport involving 10K walks), music, art, reading, movies, stamp collecting, photography, cross–stitch, and her Orange Tabby, Periwinkle. Her type preferences are INFJ.

Comments

James Harman (not verified) says...

Amen! I've been waiting for this post for years. Many thanks, Gayle!

Gayle Weinraub says...

You're welcome, James!

Guest (not verified) says...

I believe Jesus was an INFJ. I myself am one and find myself having a 'Messiah complex' at times....trying to save or help each person. I am not Jesus by any means but it just seems that he would be INFJ.

Gayle Weinraub says...

I also have preferences for INFJ. I don't think I have a Messiah complex but it is worth being on the lookout for! I do try to be helpful to others.

Jenny80 (not verified) says...

Good analysis. I've always thought Jesus was INFJ. Jesus seemed like a dominant introverted intuitive to me...very convinced of his own ideas and opinions, which is more indicative of J rather than P.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks for your comment, Jenny80!

T (not verified) says...

Wow, a gutsy in depth article about a topic few people date to go in a politically correct society. Nicely done! I enjoyed it thoroughly. Such an INTJ move; )

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks so much, T! By the way my preferences are INFJ! 8-)

Murray Zulak (not verified) says...

Hi Gayle. I thoroughly enjoyed your article which is most appropriate for the Christmas celebration. Thank you.

Gayle Weinraub says...

You're welcome, Murray. I'm delighted that you liked it!

Jara (not verified) says...

Thank you for this article! I love that you tackled this question, and that you used the Bible to support your conclusions.

I recently started reading "Introverts in Church". The Holy Spirit told me to gift it to an introverted teen who recently returned home and to church after running away. I've been teaching her nephew in Sunday school and praying for her family.

In Chapter 1, the author (an introvert) reports that studies show that most people believe that Jesus is an extrovert...and he theorized that it's because of the evangelical church's bias in favor of extroversion. Ironically, the studies show that people also tend to project their own qualities onto Jesus.

The Holy Spirit also told me to pray with the prodigal introvert and her sister (a flaming extrovert). So we all held hands and prayed together. My prayer was for all of us to appreciate people as God's gifts to us even if they are different from us.

I was used to literally connect both of them to our Father through Jesus. Why? Because I usually test as "balanced" on personality tests, people tend to think that I am whatever they are...until they see my other side come out. There's a lot of projection in my relationships. Whenever there's conflict, I must pray for God to give them HIS perspective, so that they can see "the other side". I understand them, but they do not understand me.

Our pastor has been preaching about different personality types because people are refusing to get involved in ministries that take them out of their comfort zones even though GOD is calling them to do it.

So I have to show extroverts and introverts that I spend a lot of alone time with God to prepare for my "outgoing" ministries. I am not just what they see me as...

I believe that Jesus demonstrated a balance of all "extremes" on the personality scale. There is Biblical evidence for Jesus being extroverted and introverted, intuitive and sensing, a thinker and a feeler, a judger and a perceiver.

He can definitely relate to all people and I've noticed that how He relates to each person is unique. He was "born" to be all things to all people. Therefore, through Him, all people can easily identify with God our Creator and learn to appreciate those who are different from us because they are also made in God's image.

JESUS: "I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father."
(John 16:25 NLT)

Gayle Weinraub says...

What a wonderful comment, Jara! The last couple of paragraphs sum up what I wanted to say very well.

Would you mind providing details on the book you cited, for any of us who might like to look it up? I haven't run across it before.

I love the idea of praying that we can appreciate even people who are different from us. Once I thanked God for all the types of people who differ from me, such as Sensing types and Perceiving types. That was pretty powerful! Being thankful for a person who is different from me is a far cry from just tolerating that person.

Jara (not verified) says...

Thank you, Gayle. You are so blessed! Your prayer moved God to open your spiritual eyes and stretch your heart. Gratitude for everyone as a gift from God to us expands our capacity to love them the way that He does.

The book that I mentioned is titled "Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place In An Extroverted Culture" by Adam S. McHugh; 2009, InterVarsity Press, ISBN # 978-0-8308-3702-1.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 NLT

Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing.

Ephesians 1:7-8 NLT

[God] is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you, Jara! And thank you for the information on the book! I will see if I can find it.

Sean Rhoades (not verified) says...

Because the Church is the body of Christ, and is made up of many members, some operating as eyes, others as hands, others as feet etc… I am not surprised at his many possible types. It is said in the writings of Josephus that the bread that feed the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years called manna (the bread from Heaven) was miraculously able to adjust its flavor to the pallet of whomever ate it.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks for the comment, Sean!

Jara (not verified) says...

Very interesting about the manna adjusting to each pallet (yet the Israelites still complained! See Numbers 11:4-6).

Guest (not verified) says...

ENFJ all the way!!! INFJ was the closest in your article because he would retreat alone to recharge. However, He was very involved in connecting with people ( E) from since he was a child and wandered off from His parents in the temple to speak to the religious leaders there. The NFJ component balances out the (E) because after spending time connecting with people, you need to take the time to reflect, refocus on your purpose, organize your thoughts, and put everything into a big picture. He was very easy in making friends ( E), He had 12 disciples, however He understood the importance of taking time to be alone after dealing with crowds. Crowds are VERY draining for ENFJ's because you give all your mind body and soul when dealing with helping and connecting with people. If not careful you can be consumed and lose track of the Core Purpose hence Big Picture for even why you're interacting with them in the first place, and NEED to take time ALONE. Most ENFJ's tend to be in career choices where they counsel or teach in some capacity may it be for religious ( clergy), social or political reasons.
ENFJ all the way!!! Love the article by the way :)

Bear CHeeks (not verified) says...

I agree whole heartily with your analysis - if Jesus was an ENFJ. I too am an ENFJ and everything you just said is spot on! However, there was a valid point made during the article that I held onto..."always manifesting the appropriate preferences for each situation". Just as Paul said "Be all things to all people" - I believe that Christ flexed all personalities at all times. There are so many flaws that I have as an ENFJ, like speaking before I think. Whereas I can control this at times - suppressing it drains me. I am not wired to do this. Acting this way is like having a Honda tow a cargo trailer; it might work, but not for long. IF Jesus were an ENFJ - there would have been no way that he could have ALWAYS thought before speaking for 33 years. Not that He would have sinned in it - but he would have certainly broke personality over time, and we just don't see that in his character. The same principal goes for all of the other dichotomies. I believe that had he of lived by any one set, we would have seen deviations in certain aspects along the way in other conflicting characteristics. He was always in tune with the situation and acted appropriately. He was E or I when he needed to be - the same with S & N and F & J. I think this was possible because he fully surrendered himself to the Holy Spirit and only did what the Father did and said what the Father said - and God is all things, always. Had Jesus ever NOT been sensitive to the Holy Spirit and submissive to him - we would have seen clearly what type he was because he would have lived in a selfish nature, which is where a lot of our traits tend to shine through.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks for your wonderful comment, Bear Cheeks. I apologize for the confusion here. At first I didn't realize you were commenting to another reader rather than my article, so didn't understand why my reply to him/her ended up under yours. It probably means I've read enough for one day!

I agree with you and love that analogy of a Honda towing a trailer! You said in one paragraph what I tried to say, and then some, in a long article. Thank you!

Jara (not verified) says...

Amen! Our natural personality is refined by the Holy Spirit as we mature. The more we submit to and follow the Holy Spirit's lead, the less we seek to please ourselves and the more we seek to please God and win souls to Christ.

Jesus calls His followers to "pick up [our] cross" and "die to ourselves" daily (Matthew 16).

A Christian introvert would "die to themselves" by ministering to people even when they are sick and tired of people (e.g., Timothy), while a Christian extrovert would endure persecution and solitary confinement for long periods when they want to be loved by many people (e.g., Apostle Paul).

At 12, Jesus ditched a festival to go to His Father's house to have intimate conversation with the Pharisees. He impressed Pharisees with His questions and "won favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52)...but grew into a person who was able to challenge the Pharisees' misunderstanding of God and shun their approval (John 5:41-47). This is what got Him murdered.

Any Christian who starts out as a people-pleaser would end as a person who only seeks to please God (which would only please people who are in agreement with God). And only those who are aligned with God through His Spirit will understand this metamorphosis.

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 NLT

When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.

But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.

For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him?”

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:33

I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

Galatians 1:10

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

2 Corinthians 11:16-18 NLT

Again I say, don’t think that I am a fool to talk like this. But even if you do, listen to me, as you would to a foolish person, while I also boast a little. Such boasting is not from the Lord, but I am acting like a fool. And since others boast about their human achievements, I will, too.

Galatians 6:14 NLT

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 NLT

This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:15-18

As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me—even Phygelus and Hermogenes.

May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks, Guest!

Something to think about - Jesus had 12 disciples as you said, and to some that represents a small group of intimate, deep friendships. That is more characteristic of Introversion than Extraversion. Extraversion is more characterized by breadth of relationships - how many - as opposed to depth, as I understand it.I haven't heard Extraverts speak before on the need to recharge after being with crowds. I always thought and heard that crowds were energizing to those who prefer Extraversion. But definitely there is evidence in Scripture of Jesus Introverting at times and Extraverting at other times.

Jara (not verified) says...

Insightful observation about introversion leaning towards intimate relationships, Gayle. Not only did Jesus hang with only 12 disciples though He ministered to thousands, but He routinely singled out disciples - especially James, John, and Peter - for even more intimate experiences with Him. They seemed to be with Him any time He was around people or "alone", regardless of where the other disciples were. Sticking to comfort zone friends who have "earned" more intimacy over time is definitely an introvert move.

Mark 1:29 NLT

After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home.

Mark 13:3-4 NLT

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to Him privately and asked Him, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?"

Mark 14:32-33 NLT

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.”

He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He became deeply troubled and distressed.

Luke 8:51 NLT

When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl’s father and mother.

Luke 9:28-30 NLT

About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you, Jara!

Jara (not verified) says...

You're welcome, Gayle. God bless you.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Oops, my reply to you somehow posted under the comment below yours.

Gayle Weinraub says...

I'm sorry but I seem to be having trouble getting my replies to post in the right place. I have responded to you but it is under the comment by a reader named Bear Creek or Bear something.

Blair Hollis (not verified) says...

Hi Gayle,

Sorry I thought this was at first a post by Molly and sent the response below addressing her.

It is refreshing that during a time of this divided nation, torn by this election and in search for its identity, you have the courage to post such a meaningful topic. It is especially appropriate during this season to look within ourselves to identify with "who" we are and "how" our unique design is a reflection of our character. It also begs the question, "what" were we designed to become and to make the connection with our vertical relationship with something greater than ourselves.

If we examine Jesus and consider how he manifest the capacity to maintain the resiliency to maintain His faith during challenges, perhaps we might also look within to evaluate and actualize "how" me might reconcile our preferences. If Jung argued that we each need to find balance, through moving from our polar extremes towards the center of our preferences, then perhaps as Frankl once said, we can find a pathway to change ourselves.

This is a season of self-reflection and the opportunity to embrace transformative change. It is an attitudinal change that begets new behavior. This means looking for the good in others and understanding their uniqueness (type) and to begin to fathom their nature. It provides a platform for reconciliation and healing, offering a new lens that allows us to see others as Jesus did. It suggests we learn to walk in his sandals and begin to live a life not centered upon selfhood but to lean into relationships where we connect with others; the purpose for our creation.

Honestly, if we attempt to anthropomorphize Jesus, then I suspect he was an INFP at times and then an ENFP when the Holy Spirit inspired Him to speak out against the blindness of the pharisees (S/J). Like Thomas in the upper room, they needed to feel the wounds in His hands and feet in order to believe. So, perhaps Jesus was an Ambivert, looking through a lens that embraced all of humanity with a loving heart. His outrange against money lenders at the Temple was reflected his "feeling" nature, where his moral compass was offended by his "intuitive" belief system. It was a wounded response from His core self that said, "how" could you desecrate the sacred.

Of course Jesus was so much more than that and for those you inquire further, they will find Him awaiting them in their time of need. As CS Lewis once said, we are each nothing but statutes operating in this world. However, something miraculous happens when we embrace His transformative presence. He changes us from within and we are forever transfigured into a new creation.

While the above reflects a Christian perspective, I truly believe God created each of us for relationships, to witness to one another seeing the good in each of us. Then upon reflection we are called upon to acknowledge these blessings through devotion, spiritual formation, through talking to Him (prayer). Jew and Christian each honor and stand in awe of God maintaining a fervent hope that we may be worthy of His love and pardoned for our mistakes in life.

I met Victor Frankl early in my life and found that his piety was pronounced and his faith was very very strong despite the unimaginable horror he experienced in the death camps. He never reflected this in his book, "Man's Search For Meaning," but he always made the connection between suffering as a mechanism for finding meaning. We may not understand it's significance presently but it causes us to look beyond our self to something greater where meaning lies.

In a world that seeks to shape us, we each search for our identity and remodel ourselves all too often to meet the expectations of others. The list of types that are unbelievers from your other blog suggest that so many souls have morphed into a life of false narratives. They do not trust what they cannot see, feel, or touch. They guard their hearts and live a life centered upon their self, chasing something that they can never attain: purpose. Frankl might argue those individuals must dismantle their cognitive armor sufficiently to witness "who" they really are. Then their existential search begins.

It is all about the principle of love. That we were created for loving relationships, that reciprocal process of expression of our uniqueness. When we connect with others authentically, exposing our heart and true nature, then we find a sense of purpose in our lives. In work, we extend this love by connecting with our character and our competencies. This is God working through us (His creation) fulfilling ur calling. When we do this we honor Him.

Many thanks for this auspicious post!

Blair

Gayle Weinraub says...

Many thanks to YOU, Blair! I am very humbled at the time and effort it must have taken you to post this. Thank you for your insights!

AC (not verified) says...

Wonderful, wonderful article. Jesus is all those things and more. It always fascinats me how He makes us all the same yet different, is creative with personality types that this website explores and yet can tell us apart yet dealing with each of us uniqely. God is great.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you, AC!

Guest (not verified) says...

I like the craftful way you have written this. As an religious INTJ, I know that I am nowhere near Jesus Christ,as much as I relate and as much as I try to learn from his example. I think your essay goes to show that the God who created our different personality types is trying to show us that there is a balance between the different elements in life. In other words, to everything there is a season. And, that he can relate in some way to every element of our personalities, that is, to say, he is not far from every one of us.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you. I agree!

Paulus (not verified) says...

Fascinating article. I love this stuff thank you!

Gayle Weinraub says...

You're welcome, Paulus! Thank YOU!

Em (not verified) says...

I thoroughly enjoyed this article! I believe many people hold Jesus to such a high place that they feel they cannot relate to him. In my humble opion, this is exactly one of the very reasons God chose to send his Son in the flesh- so we could relate. Jesus experiences nearly every human emotion that we do: sadness, joy, grief, anger, loneliness, aggravation, etc. Some of my favorite 'human' moments are: in John 5:1-15, where he gets all over the paralytic for portraying himself as a victim saying "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." Of course anything in the Bible can have different interpretations, but as I take it, He is getting into the guy for laying around and not helping himself. Another is where He wept in John 11, He did not weep because He was sad, He wept that the people had not enough faith in Him. It says John 11:38 "again groaning in Himself came to the tomb". I could go on and on but the point is, reading the Gospels, you can catch His emotions, aggravation that the disciples don't seem to be grasping His purpose, grief and sadness over the beheading of John the Baptist, anger in turning over the tables, apprehension and loneliness and fear when He asks His Father God to take away His burden. You have it perfectly in your article when you said the He is the master of each personality type, and gives a biblical take on making decisions in the inferior human mind of which personality type you need to portray at what time, and like your test results talk about trying to be more in the middle in certain things... this coming from a INTP/A-
:)

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks, EM! I agree that God sent His son so we could relate to him, and also see an example of how to live. Thanks for the great comment!

Jenna gripp (not verified) says...

ENFJ is what I have always thought. I feel the same as you but feel he was still not alone in the prayers so it reall doesn't count toward the introversion.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks for your comment, Jenna!

Diane Eble (not verified) says...

This was fascinating, thanks for thinking it through! As an INFP, I always appreciated that Jesus took time to get away and recharge, as I've had trouble allowing myself to do that in this Extraverted world (plus, I was raised to "get my nose out of that book and go find someone to play with!"). I think you're right; Jesus models perfect Type development.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks Diane! I can relate to having trouble sometimes in allowing myself to recharge. Sometimes I want to but there is so much going on. Sometimes I just have to tell myself, no I really don't want to see a movie or attend that activity today. I think it's a matter of being tuned in to when we are running on empty and need to recharge, and then doing it!

I'm FiNe (not verified) says...

Thanks for the article, Gayle.

NF Geeks considered this same thing about 3 years ago. A You Tube search for ENFJesus (no spaces) should reveal the 3-part video discussion.

Their assigning of E vs. I was based largely (entirely?) upon the energy level needed to interact with those crowds as often and as long as Jesus did. They rely upon personal experience and familiarity with contemporary INFJs to conclude that, because no INFJ that they have ever known could effectively interact in such a prolonged and ongoing manner with massive numbers of people (consider the well-known commonality of INFJs dropping out for prolonged periods to recharge), that Jesus, therefore, could not have been an INFJ because the patterns for alone-time, although seemingly frequent, were relatively short periods of time. [Additionally prayer was a further interaction of dialogue rather than a passive, Zen-like state of cognitive inertia. Although a one-to-one interaction, it wasn't introspection.]

I do, however, appreciate your points regarding I being more likely than E for the reasons that you shared. I would counter the notion that Dr. Mike and Josh had regarding energy and recharging in that Jesus was not relying on his own energy but rather the Father.

I see that your best-fit type is INFJ. What are your thoughts regarding the concept of being within crowds as often as Jesus was accompanied by only brief times to be alone? Could you operate like that for at least 3 years?

Regarding T vs. F, I disagree with seeing that T values justice more than mercy. I have seen interactions on forums between especially INFJ vs. INFP regarding if they appreciated more justice or mercy (forced choice and not indicative of reality). It seemed that a pattern of J types valued justice more and P types valued mercy more. This to me is understandable in that people whose lead judging function more typically extraverts are trying to order the world around them. Actions have consequences in the outer world.

Your consideration of Jesus dealing with the money changers in the Temple did give me reason to stop and consider. It does seem a rather INFP outburst sort of behavior (I'm an INFP and can relate quite well) in the context of having a core value trashed. It seems to be that inferior extraverted Thinking gushing out to change the order in the outer world to fit the values. It seems to be quite contrary to an extraverted Feeling approach.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment!To answer your question, I think it might depend on the clarity of his preference for Introversion, if indeed that was his preference. I think the important concept here is not necessarily HOW MUCH time Jesus had to be alone, but WHETHER or not being alone was energizing to him. No, I certainly could not operate like that for three years, but I have a clear preference for Introversion (whereas his may have been only slight) and, of course, I am not God! Even for me, with my clear preference for Introversion, sometimes just a brief time alone doing something I particularly enjoy can rejuvenate me.

Also many successful ministers, including mine, have a preference for Introversion and live this type of life for years. They are not necessarily with crowds but with people whether the crowd at church on Sunday or individuals that they meet with through the week for counseling, Bible studies, etc. Those who are married then go home to their families at night and have even less time to themselves. But it can be done as long as they know when it is time to recharge and do it.

Randi (not verified) says...

I love this study ... thank you!!

Gayle Weinraub says...

You're welcome Randi! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Sarah W (not verified) says...

Interesting- thank you!!!
It did cause me to think and consider.
I'm still processing but a few things that jump out to me is that I am less inclined to think he was on the T side, and if there was one that had to be chosen, INFJ would be it. (And not just because I am one!)
1. You mention that the money changers seems to indicate a leaning towards T. I would remind you that INFJ is one of, if not the, most rational of the types, able to see things from varying perspectives and think it through.
2. I would point out that the instance here with the money lenders shows Jesus fired up at injustice, and doing what he thought needed to be done to make that right. That is very INFJ. The money changers were everything against what his message to the people was about.
3. Some other comments have suggested ENFJ because he was so much around other people. If you look at the whole of the Gospels you will see a continuous withdraw from people to have space. He loved being with people, but he got in a boat a little off shore to speak when there were so many crowds. He withdrew to pray frequently. Often the disciples would go to a place to speak with him because he was resting or sleeping by himself. If you read them and pay attention to the progression, by the time he got to the last supper and the garden you can feel a heavy weariness on him. I think it was in large part because of the weight of knowing what was coming, but I could see it a different way too. Also, I will remind you all that INFJ is one of the more social of the introverts as well. We often come across as extroverted at times.
4. Jesus has that knowledgeable teaching and care that ENFJs are so good at, but Jesus also spoke in metaphor and parables often which INFJs are also known for. He constantly searched for a way to help people understand his message.

I think Jesus defies and transcends boxes and labels so I have difficulty sticking him in one. But if it has to be one over another, INFJ, with ENFJ as second choice, is what I would choose.

Sarah W (not verified) says...

Where's an edit button when you want one!

Gayle Weinraub says...

I'm wondering about a delete button.....

Sarah W (not verified) says...

Yup! I was trying to change it to say that INFJ is one of the more rational of the Feeling types... :) Not as rational as the Ts but fairly well balanced.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Sarah, I checked with the editor about this. You must be logged in to edit. Hope that helps!

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you for your thought - provoking comment, Sarah!I totally agree with #3.I tried to make the point in another reply that though a person who prefers Introversion may get only a brief time alone, if well - used and well - timed it can be powerfully energizing. I think it can be misleading to judge someone's preference by how much time they have alone, since the important thing is the timing of it and what they do with it.

You are right, and preaching to the choir in reminding a fellow INFJ about the sociability of INFJs!That's our auxiliary extraverted Feeling which is what the world sees in us. I have been laughed at when telling others I am an Introvert, and have also been in situations where I was more outgoing and knew more people than the Extraverts in a group. It is certainly an error to assume that just because someone loves people and is sociable and with others a lot, as Jesus was, that person is an Extravert. The question is, is that person ultimately energized or drained by their contact with people? As I mentioned in another reply, many successful ministers have a preference For Introversion.

Jannette Thompson (not verified) says...

INFJ definitely.Regarding the issue of introversion vs extroversion,many people think that because a person's life work has to do with the public that that automatically makes them an extrovert.Not so.The difference is, as Gayle so brilliantly mentioned, that introverts have to take time away to recharge as Jesus often did.I never got the impression that Jesus needed the company of others to energize himself or "fill up".His interaction with others was of a teaching and helping nature so this could easily have been quite draining for him over time.
Little is known about the years of Jesus'life between 12 and 30 years old.It is my understanding that during this time he traveled to India, Tibet and other areas of the East where he studied and grew in his own spiritual development before returning to Jerusalem to impart the wonderful gift of his Ministry.
That does not sound like an extrovert to me!

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you, Jannette! I hate stereotypes especially those toward Introverts. It's heartwarming to see there are many sharp readers here who actually understand the differences between Introversion and Extraversion!

JohnG (not verified) says...

Great write up. Your assumptions are all true. I have given this a great deal of thought, and I have come to the same conclusion.

However, on the issue of J or P, I think he was a bit tended to P. He seemed to have easily changed his plans when various people called for his attention.

However, the jury is out on this, I guess. He also had well laid out plans for the Last Supper, for example, and was very clear on how many disciples he needed, plus when it would be time for him to die. These are areas which are not normally the forte of P's, but J's.

So maybe he was INFJ, with a well developed P preference then.

Gayle Weinraub says...

You could be right! Thanks, Johng!

WH (not verified) says...

I too believe Jesus was primarily an INFJ, with a near balance on the final two letters. He did seem to be able to move between T and F, and J and P.

One thing to point out about I vs. E in his ministry: the anointing of the Holy Spirit can completely energize someone who normally tends to be introverted, to the point they can have that extroverted energy for extended periods of time. I believe this is exactly what happened with Jesus. It is telling that he still needed those alone times to recharge, though not really alone - he was reconnecting with the Father via his spiritual intuition, whom he often stated was his sole source of all he did. He was meek and mild toward the common man of his day, yet he could be fiery and exactly on-point with the self-satisfied and arrogant religious leaders. He stated plainly that 'the meek shall inherit the earth', and 'blessed are the poor in spirit', as if he had intimate knowledge of those states of mind. He could be meek and tender toward those who were hurting and at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, while turning up the heat on those at the top of the heap with perfectly spoken words of rebuke, calling the religious leaders 'serpents' and 'whitewashed graves'. I have been a believer for many years and am still astonished at the range of his teaching and ministry.

Great article!

Gayle Weinraub says...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, WH! Thanks for your analysis!I agree with you since I know there have to have been many times when I had no idea where I got the energy to get everything done, especially at this time of year or during finals in college.

G Scott (not verified) says...

Wonderful and I believe you are correct. Maybe he was borderline Thinking/Judging?

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you! Maybe! He had to have had a preference for one or the other, but perhaps it was only a slight preference as opposed to a clear or very clear one.

Cielo TX (not verified) says...

Thank you for having the boldness to write about Jesus Christ! Really enjoyed this!

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you, Cielo! I'm not sure I really thought about this article involving boldness, but maybe it did. I guess I figured no one could object to him being discussed in a blog, especially one about spirituality. The real kudos here, in my opinion, go to Molly Owens who, while not religious herself, sensed that her readers would appreciate reading about spirituality and had the foresight and boldness to assign one of her bloggers to write about it. 8-)

Western US (not verified) says...

Incredible article. Thank you for sharing and posting. I found it informative and respectful. Very appropriate for any time of the year, especially near Christmas.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you! I hope it adds something special to your Christmas celebrations.

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow, what a creative idea--this is awesome. Thanks for this post and for all your posts--I save them all, they are helpful and help me know I'm not as strange as I once thought--ha ha!

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thank you! This is actually only my second post on this site. I'm glad to hear they are helpful. The beauty of type is that it teaches that we are all OK, when it comes to questions of how we are energized and take in and make decisions with information, and how we orient to the outside world. Just because the majority may do these things a certain way, that does not mean that is the only worthwhile way to do it.

INTJ Official (not verified) says...

Jeshua Ben Yosef (Jesus of Bethlehem) was a Ni-Dom, Extraverted Feeling, Introverted Thinking, Extraverted Sensing (INFJ).

Jesus received numerous intuitive insights from (God) into the true intentions/behavior of the Pharisees, Saduccees, and his own followers. Despite their evil intentions and actions, he practiced Forgiving them all, to show and teach us about our father God's love for humanity. Unconditional love. Extraverted Feeling.

Love others as you love yourself. Love God. These two in essence alone sum up the whole 10 (First 5, then 2nd 5) Commandments. He came to fulfill the teaching, the prophecy as what was foretold.

He demonstrated Extraverted Feeling by teaching others about the Kingdom of God (Love). Lesson after lesson taught students love, mercy, forgiveness, truth, freedom, faith, joy and more. He taught them how to live them, through his actions alone.

At times he broke away from others, to get perspective, to be still, to be in meditation, to be with his thoughts, to enjoy solitary and communion with God. (Introverted Thinking)

He fasted in the desert for 40 days, starved his body, fought w/ his ego, dependent on God, strengthen his faith in him.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks for the great comment, INTJ!

Eric Polin (not verified) says...

Interesting topic indeed!

Not sure of the J, because of "nobody knows the time, not even the Son".

About the Temple's merchants, I have the feeling you misunderstand the event: this is one occurrence where we see Jesus' anger, up to violence, and the sentence "the concern for Thy House will be my torment" demonstrates definitely a very high emotion.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Hi Erin, thanks for your comment!

Perhaps I did misunderstand the event in the Temple. But let's keep in mind that the thinking/feeling dichotomy has to do not with emotion but with whether one tends to make decisions based on logical connections or by weighing the relative values and merits of the issues, according to the MBTI(R) Manual. On p. 25 the Manual states:

Although the classical distinction in psychology between "tough - minded" and "tender - minded" people is one aspect of the T - F difference, it does not follow that "thinking"| people do not have "feelings" or that "feeling" people cannot follow a logical argument. Such erroneous views reflect two of the common misconceptions about people who favor one or the other of the two judging functions. Equating Feeling as a decision - making process with feeling as affect or emotion is also a common misperception.

baileyurban (not verified) says...

I actually wrote a blog about this last year and typed him as ENFJ. This is a great article though, and I've had some great debates with friends about the E/I dilemma. The J seems obvious to me though :) http://www.allthemore.org/2016/06/19/jesus-was-probably-an-enfj/

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks for reading, and for your comment!

Shine (not verified) says...

this made me laugh.. it is important to do this?? you must try to think logically, this is right or wrong.

Gayle Weinraub says...

Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure I understand what the word "this" is referring to.

messerjayjay says...

Hello there,

Please don't assume the rest of the world is 70% Sensing. Also, the data collected from that survey was a period of heavy cultural change/transformation in the US (1972-2002) and i certainly don't believe ISFJ is the most common type anymore. Perhaps they were just the type that was always there between the 30 years, while other types either diminished or increased in number, especially from immigration of people from other cultures of the world and the differing attitudes of each of the 50 states.

Apart from the factual discrepancies, thanks for writing such a nice, detailed article about Jesus. I'm not religious but i appreciate that.

I live in Canada in an age of growing (and neverending) liberalism, so i would say, in fact, that NFs are very common amongst us, especially within the younger generations. ST types (SPs, SJs, etc.) are not rare, but we just have a heavier preference for N. Administrate the test on many Canadians and you'll find a much more ambiguous divide between N and S.

Also, why would you say that Jesus took his praying time to regain his energy? Many religious people do the same, but many religious people are also extraverted. And we must remain open-minded to the fact that personal bias is a possibility, no offense intended. I'm an ESTP and perhaps our differences are why i am biased to seeing bias in things written about INFx types, written by INFx types. (Although i would never say that Jesus was an ESTP...he just wasn't.)

I do agree that F was a significant trait in him, though. And because i honestly don't know so much about religion, i'll leave the rest and let you be :)

Thanks,

Jess

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