How important is it that Jesus was fully human?
"Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem and Joseph and his mother knew not of it"
Seriously, don’t you love it when a preacher gives a sermon illustration about a child? Aren’t you drawn to facebook pages with pictures of kids? I’m sure there’s a few curmudgeons out there that don’t care that much for l'il tots (okay, even I get a little strained when I’m at a restaurant or, ahem, in church and a child starts doing what children do naturally).
Still, we can all relate with kids. The children’s choir Sunday night was great, especially when they sang “There’s a Sweet Sweet Spirit In this Place,” a closing anthem for almost every church I was a part of in the 1970s. I noticed Rief did the old “and I know that it’s the” pause “of the Lord.” (We are never sure if it’s “presence” or “spirit” and the words were vacant on the screen).
Today’s devotional is about the childhood of Christ and especially the story of Mary and Joseph losing Jesus. Someone in our church said they had that terrifying moment when they couldn’t find their child at the carnival the other night. Can you imagine losing the one and only, only begotten, totally unique, virgin-born Son of God (and you’re the virgin!). For three days?
I confess, we lost our oldest once at the Houston airport. And another time, Melissa and I left both boys (under ten years old, mind you) at church by themselves and didn’t realize it until we got home! But three days? Can you imagine how Mary felt? Talk about self-doubting, low self-esteemed feelings of inadequacies. And don’t even think about Joseph coming out of this unscathed. Something tells me the whole three days was somehow Joseph’s fault, at least in Mary’s mind.
You better believe it’s important that Jesus was not only divine, but totally human. It makes God somehow more approachable. “He was tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). “He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:18). Are you dieting? Jesus went 40 days and nights! Are you lusting? Jesus attracted prostitutes and had women falling at his feet (literally). Are you angry? Please don’t get mad at church like He did! Frustrated? Can you say “12 clueless disciples”? Betrayed? Hello, Judas’ kiss. Shall I go on?
In the book Life of Pi (much, much better than the movie, by the way), Pi cannot get over the frailty and suffering of God in the flesh. And yet, such tender love amidst apparent weakness drew Pi to Christ. “Why would (God) send his only son to atone for the sins of the whole world?...That made no sense…But I could not get this Christ out of my mind. The more I got to know Christ, the more I liked Him.”
Love demonstrated is oh so much greater than love declared. Love in action is far more comely than love in abstraction. Was Jesus human? Never was there anyone more human than Christ! That’s why I love Him so! He loves me not despite my humanity, not even because of my humanity; He loved me through HIS humanity.
Pray: Dear Jesus. Thank You for clothing Your deity in humanity. Thank You for being tempted. Thank You that You had no tears for Your own griefs, but You sweat drops of blood for mine. How marvelous, how wonderful is Your love for me.