In Chapter 7 of Luke we meet a centurion, a high ranking Roman soldier. He seemed to understand that servants were more than simple property. In fact he so “highly valued” one of the servants, that when this slave lay dying the centurion sent for Jesus. He knew that Christ had the power to heal his servant without ever stepping foot in his house. Jesus was pleased with this man’s faith and healed the servant.
We also meet a widow whose only son has also recently passed away. She had nothing left in the world. In the midst of her mourning Jesus spoke words of sympathy to her, and then did more. He raised her boy from the dead.
In both of these peoples’ lives we see Christ displaying a compassionate kindness, a deep sympathy, that both comforts and helps. This is a sympathy Jesus has for all of his people.
A Sympathetic Savior
The reason Christ can sympathize with you is because he has been “there” personally, and he cares about you. He has gone through loneliness, fear, fatigue, sorrow, and stress. He has suffered in ways we will never fully understand and he did this not only for his glory but for our good. (Heb 4:15) His glory is seen in that through his suffering he saves a people for himself and conquers the devil. Our good is found in that he comes to the aid of those enduring difficulty.
Ok, so what does this mean for us? How should this affect what we are going through?
For the overwhelmed
Jesus felt overwhelmed with his mission and it culminated in the garden of Gethsemane. He was nearing abandonment, wrongful conviction and brutal crucifixion. His friends would desert, deny, and betray him. Punishment for sin would be poured out on him in such a way that the physical torture he had already experienced would be nothing in comparison. Separation from his Father was near and he was afraid. True loneliness awaited him, and the magnitude of what he faced was a terrifying reality. Think of this when you are overwhelmed, not so that you may conclude your suffering is nothing in comparison, but so that you will have confidence to draw near to him who knows what you are going through and promises to help (Is. 58:9)
For the weary
Jesus experienced weariness in both body, mind, and spirit. He knew what it was like to be worn out from the constant demands of people, from the onslaught of Satan’s schemes, and from the persecution and hate of those who did not believe. So when you are struggling with getting out of bed because you just don’t think you have it in you to face all the demands and temptations of another day remember Jesus’ promise to give rest to the weary and take him up on his offer. (Matthew 11:28)
For the sad
Jesus wept. (Jn 11:35) When Lazarus died Jesus was genuinely brokenhearted. It seems weird since he knew that he was going to raise him from the dead, but he was touched by the death of a friend and the mourning around him. He knew what Mary and Martha were feeling and he empathized with them. When you are sad and secretly crying in the bathroom or in the shower Jesus knows exactly what you are feeling, and he cares. But he also has a power no one else has, and can turn our mourning into praise (Ps. 30:11) and our sadness into joy.
For the lonely
Jesus had friends, even some very close friends, but they did not understand what he was all about. They did not fully grasp who he was and what he was born to accomplish on their behalf. In his most desperate time of need they failed him. They left him. He was alone. Jesus knows you, your loneliness and isolation, and the temptations that comes with that state. But his promise is certain. He remains with you (Mt 28:20). He will never leave you (Deut. 31:6,8)
No matter what you are going through remember this:
“You are in the wise and merciful hands of One who prescribes for you with unerring wisdom, and has unspeakably more tenderness than can be found in all human hearts taken together!” – John Newton
Looking To Jesus,