I love the stories in the bible of creation, of the flood, of the plagues on Egypt, the preservation in the wilderness, the miracles of the taking of the Promised Land, of Daniel in the lion’s den, the three Israelite boys in the fiery furnace, the virgin birth, the raising of Lazarus and the raising of Jesus. Why do we love those and other stories like them? Because they remind us of how incredibly powerful and awesome God is!
We should also be indebted, however, to the gospel writers who recorded Jesus’ weariness after teaching all day. How he got tired after traveling with the disciples and he stopped at a well in Samaria while the disciples went in search of food. And then there’s being so bone-weary tired that he was sleeping through a raging sea in a tossing boat and only was awakened not by the noise of the sea or wind, but by the terrified cries of the disciples.
And then we come to the messages spoken from the cross. They are messages of compassion: “Forgive them”, “Today you’ll be with me in Paradise”, “Mother, behold your son”, and the powerful “It is finished! Into your hands I commit my spirit!”. Then there’s one that just doesn’t seem to fit the mold of the other proclamations: I’m thirsty.
Why did they record “I’m thirsty”? I suspect that the Spirit knew that in all our adoration of Jesus that we needed to be reminded that not only was he God, but he was very, very human. 100% human, in fact, “fully human and fully God”.
It helps me to know he understands the boredom and dullness that can come from being house-bound on a very ordinary day, or of working your fingers to the bone, of dealing with unhappy customers, of complaining neighbors. We need to remember that his divinity didn’t protect him from any of those things or any of the other things that pierce us day after day. He knows. He experienced it. He understands. And that is comforting.
One misty, cool morning in January 2016, I sat on top of Mt. Arbel overlooking the sea of Galilee’s western shore. I saw where Magdala was, Capernaum and other towns from Scripture. And as I sat there, I tried to make out a human form walking on the beach. It struck me that had I sat there perhaps 2000 years earlier, I might have seen Jesus walking on that beach and thought he was just another human instead of God walking there. And I’d have been right – he was human – and all too many missed him because he didn’t appear to be God in the flesh. It was only his actions and words that revealed the God inside of him. I would have dismissed him as just another human walking on the beach. Maybe that’s how he prefers to show himself to us – as the son of man – so we’d know he knows. It is only then that we can also appreciate him as the Son of God.
PRAYER: Jesus, visit us in our afflictions. Comfort us with your knowledge of human life. And let us see you as the Son of God as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>