1997-12-12 - REALly One of Us
As I was re-reading the familiar story of the young child Jesus remaining behind in the Temple, worrying His earthly parents (Lk 2:40-49), it struck me afresh, that He was a real child. He had a real childhood, being loved by and worried about by real parents. He had real misunderstandings with real family members.
(Luke 2:48-50 NNAS) When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You." 49 And He said to them, "Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?" 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.
He was a carpenter by trade. He understands deadlines, demanding customers, a long tiring day.
As a man, he suffered real temptations so that He could identify with us, the ones He came to save.
(Heb 2:18 NNAS) For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
He suffered real emotional pain, just as we do. He grieved over losses. He understands our deepest pains.
(John 11:33-35 NNAS) When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, 34 and said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept.
In fact, He suffered the deepest pain possible--a kind-of separation, a feeling of abandonment, by God, His beloved Father.
(Mat 27:46 NNAS) About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?
Even though He is God, He really is human also. So He understands what we are going through. He is not an aloof Supreme Being. He isn't as Voltaire believed, "Le Grand Horloger," "The Great Clockmaker," who creates the world, and then sits back and watches dispassionately as events unfurl. He is our Creator, our Lord, our Redeemer -- yet He identifies with us. So no matter what you are going through, remember that. Remember that Jesus feels with you. He is always with you.
(Mat 28:20 NNAS) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Jesus really cares about what you are going through. He cares about your painful relationships. He cares about your emptiness. He cares about your hurts, your worries. And He is always there, waiting for you to turn to Him as your Refuge, and to pour out your heart to Him.
(Psa 62:8 NNAS) Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Dear Father, thank You for not being distant from us. Thank You for pursuing us and for allowing us to have an intimate relationship with You. Help us to grasp this, how much You care for us and identify with us, and live accordingly. In Jesus' name, amen.