Revenge or Grace ?

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
 Jesus wept.
 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”( John 11:33-36)

Lazarus was dead.

Mary was weeping because Jesus did not heal Lazarus in time to  prevent his death. When Jesus saw Mary’s  weeping, he was deeply moved and troubled. And the Bible’s shortest verse follows : Jesus wept.

I’ve known that Jesus experiences our weeping and sadness at what goes wrong in this fallen world.  But in this post, I wonder : Does he feel all of our emotions along with us ? Here’s what I mean: Say someone wrongs me and I am filled with rage, bitterness, and a desire for revenge. Now, Jesus does care very much about how I react, but I  don’t think he feels it with me when my emotions lead me to feeling that someone needs to have their face punched in !

I reflected on how Jesus reacted  to Judas. Surely Jesus mourned at what Judas did but here’s a temptation he probably had but did not give in to —- he did  not get all miffed  and say, “How dare Judas do this to me…after all,  I am the son of God.—I’ll fix him !”

This insight into Jesus’ compassion has helped me  with  my disappointment at a recent miserable ministry mess. Some individuals behaved in a very divisive manner. While knowing I should be forgiving , I felt  resentment, bitterness, and anger.

But then I started  to understand  how Jesus was looking at my situation. Yes, he shared my sadness and sorrow at the disunity in our group. But  he  did not share my  spiteful feelings and  he asked me to turn from my sinful resentment.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb 4:16)

So I know that as I struggle with harsh feelings, I am able to approach Jesus in the midst of it to receive grace instead of seeking revenge.

And what a wonderful overflow comes when this happens : I now have a surplus of the Lord’s grace to pass on to you !

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