A Seven Year Old, The Lonely, and An Authentic Jesus
“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin…” Hebrews 4:15
Our Thanksgiving trip was beautiful. My family and I were in our hometown of Savannah, GA, and you couldn’t have asked for a better Savannah stay. As tradition calls, we took a walk to the movie theater down the street from my mom’s house. We took off laughing and celebrating family. The breeze was perfect as we walked down the street when suddenly I turned around to find my seven year old son, Josiah, with his head down, shoulders slumped, and what was a huge smile, now an even bigger frown. I asked him, “Son, what’s wrong?” He lifted up his head with an intense gaze and responded, “Daddy, do you ever feel lonely?”
It is of utmost importance that you know, a few weeks prior he had a dream that he was feeding the homeless, and from then on he has been fascinated with every homeless person he sees. He refers to them as the “lonely” and wants to pull the car over every time he sees someone he thinks is “lonely”. Since then he has ministered to at least two people we have encountered. We even bought him some packaged food that he could give people as we had opportunity.
I believe just before I found him with his head down he had just seen another “lonely” person and his heart broke. I was actually taken back by his response. My heart sunk into my stomach, as I looked at my seven year old caring so much for the broken. He continued to walk with his head down and said, “I feel lonely.” Suddenly, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that he was trying his best with a seven year old mind to identify with the homeless. He wanted in that moment to feel what they were feeling. As any parent would be, I was overwhelmed. My son showed me a lot that day, and I will never be the same.
Jesus was the God man! He was fully God! Fully man! He wasn’t half and half. I’ve heard Bill Johnson say many times, “Jesus is perfect theology.” I love that. Jesus was the prime example of how we are to live in the earth. He was the expressed image of the Father. John 1 gives us the perfect picture of this God man. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
It goes on to tell us in verse 14 that the Word became flesh. JESUS! Jesus is the Word, and this verse beautifully tells us that the Word was with God and the Word was God! This Heavenly Reality is a beautiful mystery but is an Eternal Truth. Jesus was and is the Radiance of God’s Glory. (Heb 1:3)
I bring this out to establish the truth that if Jesus Himself was all God and all Man, if He is perfect theology and He is, then shouldn’t we do the same? We should be a reflection of Heaven in the earth, but at the same time, not be afraid to identify with the suffering of Humanity. The anointing gives us beauty for ashes. I just heard it said from Pastor Buddy Malloy at New Life Church in Lake City, FL that the church is afraid for the beauty & ashes to dwell together.
I feel strongly if we’re not careful, we can make our ministry efforts a means to an end, and never truly identify with the person or persons to whom we are ministering. In our efforts to be Heavenly minded…and we should be…we have created a culture that much of the world sees as plastic and contrived, because it is not authentic. What we see with Jesus is He was all God and all Man. I feel strongly that we need to balance our lives with this reality.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us…”For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin…”
Jesus Himself was our substitute and was touched with the feeling of our infirmities. The word infirmity here is “asthenia” which deals both with the body and soul. It comes from the Greek roots meaning a weakness or a lack/loss of strength. Jesus was touched by our human condition and moved with compassion to bring about wholeness in every soul (mind, will, & emotions) and every body. In fact he was so sensitive to the needs of those He touched, whether his response was harsh or soft, He never the less, identified with the person in all that they were going through.
In His identifying with suffering He did not loose His Divinity. He even suffered out in the open. He didn’t die for us in secret. He displayed His love for us in the open, in front of everyone. Jesus was the most authentic expression of God and Man coming together…Divinity and Depravity…as He was beaten and tortured and then raised from the dead! Let us learn from this God Man and not be ashamed to allow people to see our struggles. I am not saying let us fall into sin by any means, for Jesus was without sin. However, let’s not be fake with what we are going through. Most of the time, that is what the world needs to see, the fact that we, as the Church, can empathize to the broken hearted. It doesn’t mean we stay there. It doesn’t mean we accept what the world gives. It just means we know what it is like to suffer at times and also know the victory we have in Jesus.
I am truly broken as I write this with the reality that what the world needs, more than any song, sermon series, motivational sermon, discipleship program, handout, or outreach program, is for us who say we are believers to live an authentic life before a broken world. They need to see our struggles, and through that, see our faith in a greater reality, not see a people who can’t identify with their human condition.
In His Fire,
Jason Lee Jones