One of the things I have come to appreciate about Jesus is he is the real deal. He has been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. He is authentic. I love this word, authentic. The American Heritage Student Dictionary defines it as worthy of belief, true, credible, and genuine.
That is my Jesus, do you know him?
People who are wounded need to hear this. They need to know he has walked their path, been down their road, and really gets what they have been through or are going through.
The book The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young, demonstrates this very well when he realizes that God has the same nail scars on her hands as Jesus has on his. There is another book called, Meeting God at The Shack, by John Mark Hicks. Having gone through his own grief and pain he writes about how Young’s book taught him about dealing with his pain.
He has a chapter called, ‘What if God were one of us: Jesus a dependent human?’ He explains Jesus to us in such a way that we get his genuineness. He says,
“He lived an authentic human life, which included trials, tribulations, and temptations…This is the root of the Son’s empathy with humanity…The empathy of God through Jesus means God understands my suffering and humanity; God has experienced humanity. God knows what it is like – God does not simply know about it, but God has experienced the human condition as an insider.”
I don’t know about you, but that resonates with me. It especially resonates with my own special needs situation. It shows me that God understands. He sees, he has experienced, and he gets my predicament. Did he have a child with Down syndrome? No, but he understands our limitations, our struggles, our heartaches, and our pain.
All of us have different struggles, all of us have hurts and pain that others don’t get. Whether we get ourselves into our situation or we just find ourselves in a hard situation, Jesus has direct knowledge of what we are going through.
At some point in our lives we have to come face to face with Jesus and decide for ourselves whether he is truly trustworthy. I assure you, he is. I assure you he has been down that road.
John Mark Hicks goes on in his book trying to help us see this authentic Jesus and how to respond to him. He shows us it is OK to lament when needed. In fact he says,
“I protest (lament), but I must also act…As one who believes the story of Jesus, I trust that God intends to redeem, heal, and renew this world. As a disciple of Jesus, I am committed to imitate his compassion for the hurting, to participate in the healing and to sacrifice for redemption.”
He goes on a little further and continues his thought,
“…we have a story to tell, but we must tell it without rationalizing or minimizing creation’s pain. We have a story to tell about God, Israel, and Jesus.”
He is speaking of how God handles evil in this world, but it fits with our topic here about trusting Jesus in the hard stuff of life.
This is my Jesus, do you know him?
Last Sunday in church our preacher showed us a clip from YouTube that just says it all about Jesus. Oh, if we could only tell our stories in such a way, with such enthusiasm, with such confidence, with such grace, and with such humbleness.
Do you know my Jesus?