Wednesday, July 23, 2014

AN EMOTIONAL GOD (The Emotions of Jesus Christ)

Of all the emotions I could rattle off to begin describing God like - joy, happiness, wonder, closeness, patience, appreciation, and hope - there is one that comes to my mind first. Love. 1 John 4:8 identifies God as love and goes even a step further and tells us that - "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 

The Holy Spirit reminds me to emulate this loving existence through the penmanship of Paul.
  • If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.......And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13)
However, there is another emotion that is often associated with God, in particular God's Son. The Son of God was thoroughly familiar with grief. Christ Jesus had such a grasp on this emotion that He was labeled as "a man of sorrows" in Isaiah 53:3. In that same verse, right after those words we read that Jesus would have and did have personal experience with suffering. The rest reads - "and familiar with suffering". Some versions use the word "acquainted" for familiar. Suffering came to Him to find relief through healing and deliverance. Then suffering came to Him when He was beaten in the Praetorium and laid down His own life upon the Old Rugged Cross. However, grief and love were not the only emotions that Jesus experienced and I thank God for that.

Jesus was passionate or excited in Matthew 4:10 and 16:23 as He addressed Satan. If you couldn't tell it by the words He used, just take a look at the punctuation - an exclamation mark - and you get the emotion. In Matthew 8:10, Matthew actually records Jesus being astonished or amazed at the display of such great faith. Then over in Mark 6:6 Jesus is amazed at the exact opposite - their lack of faith. Jesus expressed compassion (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34), sarcasm (Matthew 15:16), thankfulness (Matthew 15:36), disgust (Matthew 16:17), irritation (Matthew 21:18-19), appreciation (Matthew 26:10-13), sorrow or distress (Matthew 26:37-38), holy anger (Mark 10:14 and Matthew 21:12-13), betrayal (Matthew 26:20-25), being forsaken (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34), approved (an inferred emotion in Mark 1:11), aggravation or frustration (Matthew 17:14-18), love (agapo style - to love in a social/moral sense in Mark 10:21), and not pleased (Mark 16:14). And of course He was grieved or moved from time to time. One instance being the death of His cousin, John the Baptist (Matthew 14:13).

I show you Christ's emotions, who is one with Father God, to set before you Father God's heart which was on display some two thousand years ago in the flesh and now dwells within each true believer. Why do I grandstand Father God's heart through Jesus? Because no other god of any other faith has come in human form and experienced all the emotions that all of us have....and did not sin. Jesus Christ experienced these emotions perfectly and responded to them perfectly SO THAT we might find help in Him when they come our way. He is not just a man of sorrows. Yes, He was familiar or acquainted with grief but He knows and is the Master of all the other emotions as well.