'Jesus Guy' inspires people through travels, minimalist lifestyl - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

'Jesus Guy' inspires people through travels, minimalist lifestyle

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

A man who looks like Jesus has been walking the streets of Toledo with just his rosary, Bible and blanket. Some call him "The Jesus Guy," but really his name is James.

“Living a radically simple life has been a way that has impacted people because they think of Jesus in a very real way,” said James Joseph.

He's traveled the world spreading the Gospel in 20 countries and 47 states, but a family matter brought him back here to where he was raised.

James has not a penny to his name and owns a total of about four things. All of which he carries daily on his wandering journey.

"I want to make it very clear that I don't think I am Jesus and I don't try to portray Jesus,” explained James Joseph. “But I live a lifestyle like he lived."

That's without money, food and even shoes for the past 26 years. He says living this way has drawn attention to him and allows him to share his love for the man others say he looks like.

"I meet so many different people in different circumstances,” said James Joseph. “So I am able to share with people that are in need, people that are curious, people that are hurting, people that are looking for inspiration."

Susan Yoder was one of those people. She drove past James and says she knew she had to stop.

"I take it as a divine intervention,” explained Susan. “I am a firm believer in signs and James walking down to street that day was a sign to me maybe I need to slow down."

She offered James money, but he wouldn’t take it. Instead, she invited him to dinner with her family and friends to share his message. The Yoder's say their life has changed because of James.

"I don't know if we will ever get to our friend's simpleness,” said Ben Yoder. “But we've really tried to cut back a couple of the things, you know do we really need that."

Through their friendship the Yoder's learned James has stayed in the area because his father is here and in need of help. Despite an unpredictable future James says the Lord will provide.

"I’m just living totally for Him and that gives me a freedom,” said James Joseph. “I don't have to worry about so many things that practically everybody else does just focus on his will."

James’s father is a master mechanic who needs help getting his tools from a warehouse in Toledo and eventually making his way to Alabama. If you are interested in helping his 81-year-old father Lewis out you can contact him at 419-277-0655.

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