“He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!” – Isaiah 53:3-4.
For some of us, emotions can feel like an overwhelming part of our lives, always loud and difficult to ignore. Others are neutral emotionally and others are in the middle. What about Jesus, though? The Lord Jesus Christ, though sinless, undoubtedly had emotions. He is called “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with deepest grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) He experienced the same emotions that you and I experience. He can empathize with whatever situation we are struggling with in life because He was tempted in all ways as we are, yet He never sinned: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15). The Lord is not some abstract entity, but a Savior with whom we relate when no one else seems to understand us.
We must look to Jesus to show us the way to be strong people who are compassionately tender at appropriate times. Jesus experienced a wide range of emotions himself. He openly wept (see John 11:35); He felt deep compassion for people (see Mark 3:5); and He even displayed righteous anger (Matthew 21:12-13). Jesus experiences and expresses deep and vivid emotions about many things in life in perfect love. What can we learn about our Savior’s emotions that will also encourage us in our own faith?
One emotion Jesus demonstrated was showing compassion for those who were in need. He had compassion on those who were hungry, who had followed Him for three days with nothing to eat. Matthew 15:32 says, “Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Every time Jesus was moved with compassion, He was moved into action to help. This compassion was triggered by His love for every soul (John. 3:16) As the great high priest, He has compassion on you: ”And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses.”(Hebrews 5:2).
He also had empathy for the pain of others. Jesus also experienced joy. The reason He was able to faithfully endure the cross was His concentration on the joy that was set before Him: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrew 12:2). He knew that through His death billions of souls would be saved.
Emotions are real. The truth is that God created us with emotions. He wants us to experience joy. And, because we live in a sinful and fallen world, we will also experience sadness and grief. But the good news is His Word says He will turn our mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11).
- What can we learn from Jesus’ emotions in the Bible?
- How does that information change how you deal with your emotions÷