A Better Story / Day 3

BIBLE READING

John 4: 3-7

So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?

Mark 3: 5

He looked around at them in anger, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.

Mark 8: 12

He sighed deeply…

Mark 14: 34

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.

Luke 10: 21

At that time Jesus, full of joy….

REFLECTION

“In my own journey with Jesus, there has been no greater motivation for my faith than the deep, dawning realisation that God is one of us. More (far more!) than the hope of heaven or the fear of hell, it is this bedrock belief - that we have seen the face of God in Jesus - that inspires and informs my faith.” (Trent Sheppard)

In this story in John 4 we see a beautiful picture of Jesus’ humanity set alongside his divinity. Later we will see him sharing supernatural prophetic insight into the Samaritan woman’s past and declaring himself to be the Messiah. But for now we simply read that he was tired and thirsty, so he sat down to rest. Wearied from his long walk from Jerusalem he needed a break while the disciples went off to get food.

I love singing songs of worship about the glory, power, majesty and authority of Jesus. But I often lose my wonder at the full humanity Jesus took on when he left heaven and came to live among us.

Jesus really did become one of us, not just in appearance, but in substance and essence. He came forth from Mary’s womb; he grew up having to learn to speak, read and write; he had to learn carpentry skills; he had hormones and went through puberty; he got tired, thirsty and hungry; he became physically weak; he died an excruciating death and he had a real human body after his resurrection.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus also clearly displays human emotions. He felt compassion; he was angry, indignant, and consumed with zeal; he was troubled, greatly distressed, very sorrowful, deeply moved, and grieved; he sighed; he wept and sobbed; he groaned; he was in agony; he was surprised and amazed; he rejoiced greatly and was full of joy; he greatly desired, and he loved. The only aspect of our human life he never experienced was sin. Jesus reveals what it means to be fully human and made in the image of God without any deficiency or distortion. As John Calvin summed it up, “Christ has put on our feelings along with our flesh.”

In our own moments of weariness or weakness, seasons of sorrow and times of testing, it is so helpful and encouraging to be reminded that Jesus understands how we feel. As Hebrews 4: 15-16 (MSG) puts it:

“We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all - all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.”

Jesus took a human body to save our bodies. And he took a human mind to save our minds. Without becoming man in his emotions, he could not have rescued our hearts. And without taking a human will, he could not save our broken and wandering wills. In the words of Gregory of Nazianzus, “That which he has not assumed he has not healed.”

Jesus became human in full, so that he might save us in full.