|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Knowing God”
Our Bible verse for today: “As he approached and saw the city, he wept for it …” Luke 19:41 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God has emotions”
This morning I want us to continue our thinking from the past few days about the love, mercy, kindness, and compassion we experience with our Father in heaven. As was noted, that’s what He wants His default mode to be in His relationship with us. That’s how He wants to be known by us.
Unfortunately, all too often, people think of God as some kind of celestial rule-making notetaking scorekeeper at best; or as a cold, stern, and sometimes harsh disciplinarian at worst. But although He does have standards of conduct He expects us to obey, and although tough love is sometimes what is called for, His preferred role with us is that of warm, comforting Father.
People are sometimes surprised to discover that God has emotions just as we do, and those emotions of God are often expressed in surprising ways. The parable of the Prodigal Son is just one example. The scene in Luke 19:41 (above) is another. In this case Jesus (God in a human body), weeps. He cries.
There are actually three occasions in the New Testament when we read of Jesus weeping. In this case, He was weeping about the pain and suffering the people of Jerusalem were bringing on themselves by their poor choices. They were not being faithful to God and were instead living in ways that were harming themselves and others. They were bringing pain and suffering upon themselves, and the thought of His people suffering like that caused Jesus to weep. He was grieved at the thought of what they were doing to themselves and what they were bringing into their lives as a result of such conduct. (I think you can see the application here for us and for our lives).
We also read of Jesus (God) weeping in John 11:35. This time He was weeping because His friend Lazarus had died. Some Bible commentators believe his tears were the result of His own grief over the loss of His beloved friend. Others believe His tears were for the grief Mary and Martha were experiencing. Others think Jesus wept over His sadness that death exists at all. My answer is “Yes – probably all three.” The point is that God feels your pain, because it’s His pain too.
The third time we read of Jesus (God) weeping is in Hebrews 5:7-9. That passage reveals that in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He was pleading for the Father to allow Him to avoid the suffering of the cross, Jesus wept for Himself. He wanted to avoid it so badly, if at all possible, that He wept.
What’s the lesson in all of this? Just that God is not some cold, stoic, unfeeling, and distant celestial scorekeeper. Instead, His emotions of love, kindness, compassion, and mercy are on full display all throughout Scripture – and that’s how He wants us to know Him.
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