For thirty-three years Jesus felt everything that we have ever felt: weakness, weariness, rejections. He got colds. His feet grew tired. His head ached. To think of Jesus in such terms, says Max Lucado, almost seems irreverent. It is much easier to keep the humanity out of the incarnation. Clean up the manure from around the manger. Pretend he never snored or hit his thumb with a hammer. There is something about keeping Jesus divine that keeps him distant, packaged, and predictable. Max's goal in this study is for us to simply get to know Jesus; then we will understand more clearly the people we were created to be.
Because of Jesus, God is no longer a confusing, ethereal, unformed being located somewhere in the sky. Instead, God is right here. Near us and with us. Immanuel. Take a deeper look into the biblical story of how Jesus arrived on earth, why he came the way that he did, and what all of this can teach you about God.
When you think about Jesus, do you wonder... A perfect human? Who never sinned? How can he relate to me? Yet he can relate to us. He faced all the temptations we face. He endured a lonely season in the wilderness. He was rejected, even by his own family and community. Furthermore, because he can relate, he does not fear our sin or cringe at our past. Nor does he refuse to fellowship with us or give us assignments because we are not as perfect as him.
Praying for healing is incredibly vulnerable, because the risk is incredibly high. What if you pray the prayer, and it just doesn't work? What if God does not heal? The discomfort of physical sickness, the despair and the pain it causes, this makes us long for just the physical healing. But healing is required just as much for our hearts, which grow sick from sin, anger, depression, and a loss of hope. We need to ask Jesus to heal us completely.
When Jesus came to earth, he instituted a completely new system of power, one in which hierarchy does not determine value, but all are considered equal. The kingdom of God would not elevate the rich, the healthy or the powerful. In fact, it would do the opposite. It would care for the poor, heal the broken, and free the enslaved. (Luke 4:18-19) This is God's kingdom, and Jesus' primary job was to bring it to earth.
When Jesus was on earth, he spent three years meeting the needs of those around him. He offered physical and spiritual healing to those who came seeking it. He saved the disciples from capsizing on the Sea of Galilee. He turned water into wine. He proved again and again that he can, and will, meet our needs. The question is, Will we ask him to do so?
When Jesus defeated death, he dealt with our sin and provided us with unconditional forgiveness. But he also gave us the gift of hope. For if he could overcome death itself, what could he not help us to face? If he could be buried in darkness for three days and the emerge to life, what darkness of ours could he not dispel? Because of Jesus, we can know, and believe, that even after the darkest of nights, joy comes with the morning.