A God that feels

The ancient Greeks believed their gods were completely devoid of feeling and emotion. The gods, they thought, were so far above humanity they could not feel sorrow, pain, or grief.

Imagine a Greek who was alive in the first century and managed to read John chapter 11. In this text the son of God is overcome with feelings of sadness and grief at the death of his friend, Lazarus. Jesus was overcome with a wide array of emotions.

The text tells us Jesus was “deeply moved” (John 11:33). The definition of this single word in the New Testament includes “deeply moved with anger or displeasure.” Some commentators on this passage, however, point to Jesus’ ability to commiserate with suffering and death in a surprisingly human way.

There are those living in the world right now who believe the same thing the Ancient Greeks did. They believe God (if he exists) could care less about the sorrows humans must bear or their fear of death. Jesus’ actions in the text of John 11 show us God does indeed care and showed how much.

The writer of Hebrews assures us, “For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:14 NET).

Jesus understands our sorrows and our fears. We do not have a God that cannot feel, for we know the son of God felt every emotion we have. God gave his son to show that he feels every bit as much as we do.

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 43 years and a preacher for 34 years. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee.

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