As joyous as it is, this season has been hard for me. I’ve been struggling with a lot of pain and doubt lately that has taken a toll on my “holiday spirit” and even though I know in my heart that we are celebrating the amazing beauty of Christ’s birth, I’m just not feeling the joy and thankfulness that I should in light of remembering the coming of our Savior. But this morning my mother reminded me that faith isn’t about what I’m feeling, but about the facts; it isn’t founded in the ups and downs of my emotions, but in the grounded truths of the Word of God. And while feelings aren’t wrong, they are all together too finicky in nature to build our faith upon.
“Avoid the mistake of concentrating overmuch on your feelings. Above all, avoid the terrible error of making them central.” -Martin Lloyd-Jones
It’s so easy to get lost in what I’m feeling. The things that are going on around me have a tendency to toss my emotions in any array they please. Life is so hard sometimes and I’m only human, after all.
But this morning, as I sat in church, my dad reminded me of a very comforting and important thing: Jesus was human too. Completely human (Though He was completely God as well).
The Earthly Life Of Jesus –
So let me ask you this question: If you were God and you were sending your only Son into the world that you had created, wouldn’t you want the very best for Him? Wouldn’t it make perfect sense to have Him born into comfort and privilege? After all, imagine the influence He could have had and the things He could have done with His wealth?
So why in the world would God cause His Son to be born in a little hick town like Nazareth? There was no privileged life for Him. He was born in a stable. His earthly father was a simple carpenter. On top of that, He was born in a difficult time for Mary and Joseph. People were probably still snickering to one another over the surprise of Mary’s pregnancy. Many probably questioned Joseph’s judgement in continuing with the marriage. Of course they weren’t going to believe that Mary’s child really was the Son of God. How absurd! This girl from Nazareth wasn’t just liar, but a liar with one silly imagination!
And if the beginning of His life wasn’t complicated enough, as an adult He was tempted by Satan (Luke 4:1-14), rejected (Luke 4:28-29), constantly ridiculed (Luke 6:7), continuously pestered by large crowds (Luke 9:10-11; Luke 12:1), misunderstood (Matthew 16:6-11; John 6:51-52), betrayed by a friend (Luke 22:4-6), denied by another (Luke 22:57), and in the end, unjustly condemned and executed (Luke 23:4,11,15, 21, 33).
You see, Jesus was familiar with life’s struggles. And because He has known these struggles first hand, He can understand what it is we are suffering.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” -Hebrews 4:15
Do you realize what this means? We aren’t on our knees, pleading to a God that has never even been in our shoes – we are relying on a God who has walked through life’s struggles and completely understands the things that we face. A God who knows our weaknesses and can sympathize with our pain. He deserved the very best this world could give ever Him and more, but instead He lived a hard life of pain and suffering – pain and suffering that He could have easily erased from His life at any given time. But He didn’t. And in the end it comforts our hearts to know that our Savior understands the pain we face. Because we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses. Thank You, Lord, for that!
Have a blessed Christmas,
Check out the audio and blog post from dad’s sermon today:
Emmanuel / Jesus, the Necessity of the God / Man