The Amazing Sensitivity of Christ

So often the world thinks of a “holy man” as one who segregates himself from the affairs of men and has a very stoic appearance in the midst of the often emotional climate around him. This is certainly a very unrealistic and false viewpoint . The life of the Lord Jesus, the only One who was truly holy, completely contradicts this notion. He never reacted to people or circumstances because He knew beforehand what they were thinking or what was going to happen. On the other hand, He often responded with deep feelings, displaying the innermost depths of His sensitivity toward those around Him.

1. His Compassion. “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean” (Mk. 1:41). Often, those who spend much time in the midst of sickness and suffering, learn to surround themselves with a shell so that they are not affected by what they see. Many who work in the midst of terminal patients sometimes become cold and indifferent to their suffering in order to survive the daily exposure to this routine. Christ not only saw the suffering around Him, but He understood, as no one else was able, the awful consequences of sin and disease. Yet He never became cold or indifferent toward those sufferers that He saw. In the verse above, His pity reaches out to a leper, who in those days was generally forsaken by the masses. In compassion He reached forth and touched “the untouchable.” It was probably the first human touch this man had experienced in a long, long time.

On another occasion, after spending time in a desert place for privacy, He was mobbed by a multitude of suffering people. Rather than being annoyed, He was moved with compassion toward them (Mk. 6:34). On yet another occasion, as He departed from Jericho, two blind men cried out to Him. Jesus again was moved with compassion and touched their eyes (Mt. 20:34).

These are recorded events. It is beyond our ability to understand how much pity poured out of His heart, every step of His way on this sin-cursed earth. This same Jesus, living in heaven, is still moved with compassion when we cry out for His mercy and His help (Heb. 4:16).

2. His Love. “Then Jesus beholding him loved him…..” (Mk. 10:21). Every human being by nature is capable of loving someone other than himself. Generally, our love is contaminated with the selfish elements that make up so much of our response to others. The Lord Jesus expressed His love to others in a manner that would only be capable of One who possessed the divine nature. He loved the rich young man in the verse above, even though He knew that because of his riches, he was going to reject Him and walk away from Him. He loves us all first, even though many never respond to that love (1 Jn. 4:19). He loved His disciples to the end even though they had disappointed Him on many occasions and He fully knew that they were going to forsake Him at the time of His trial and execution (Jn. 13:1). He loves us without receiving anything in return.

The sincerity and purity of His love was also demonstrated when Lazarus was sick. Much of human love, as demonstrated in our present society, exhibits shallowness in the midst of adversity. The Lord Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus (Jn. 11:5). Even though He had the power to cure Lazarus of his illness, He allowed Him to die. His love extended beyond the immediate present and its comforts. He was more concerned about their future welfare and He knew this depended on their inner ability to comprehend His victory over death. Divine love permits present adversity to prepare us for the future. Real love always has in mind the future welfare of the recipient (Rom. 8:35).

3. His Anger. “And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts…” (Mk. 3:5) It almost seems disrespectful or irreverent to speak of the Lord Jesus as being angry. We too often think of anger in the sinful sense of a feeling of extreme indignation toward someone because they insulted us, rejected our counsel, or injured us
in some way. Yet the word, anger, is used over 200 times in the Old Testament and many of these references refer to the anger of God. In fact, it tells us that He is angry with the wicked every day (Ps. 7:11). The Lord Jesus never became angry because He was maltreated by unjust men (1 Pet. 2:23). He became angry when religious leaders hardened their hearts against the truth and power of God. He became angry when they sought, in the hardness of their hearts, to distort the truth and the glory of God. On two occasions, both near the beginning and end of His ministry, He drove the money changers out of the temple (Jn. 2:15; Mk. 11:15). Indifference or acquiescence to the deliberate abuse of God’s Word is not a sign of godliness but rather of weakness. It requires courage and fortitude to stand up against those who seek to discredit God’s Word and His glory. Christ often stood alone against the angry mob of religious leaders.

4. His Joy. “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit….” (Lk. 10:21) The rejoicing expressed in this verse was in His spirit which is the seat of real joy. It never tells us in the Gospels that Jesus laughed or even smiled. This is not to suggest that He did not smile, but He was never characterized as One who went about laughing and joking. Levity and joking do not harmonize with the character of the “Man of sorrows” who was acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3). As He stood in the presence of those who were grieving at the grave of Lazarus, even though He knew that Lazarus would be raised from the dead, he stood by the mourners and wept with them (Jn. 11:35). There is a vast difference between inward joy and outward levity. Depending on the feelings of those around us, jesting can often be cruel and disturbing. The inner joy of the Spirit is inside the believer and is not necessarily expressed outwardly in a jovial manner. A closer examination of our verse above, shows us that the Lord’s joy was expressed by thanksgiving for that which God was doing according to His own delight and pleasure. Thus joy is really the opposite of a murmuring and complaining attitude. It is rather a wholesome thankfulness for all that God is doing in my life and in the life of others. It is expressed by a positive attitude of service to God and to others. It is evidenced by a quiet acceptance of disappointment and adversity. Paul and Silas were not filled with laughter when they were in the stocks in the inner prison at Philippi. Neither did they moan nor complain. Their inner joy was expressed by praying and singing praises to God, and the
prisoners heard them (Acts 16:25).

5. His Amazement. “And He marvelled because of their unbelief” (Mk. 6:6). “When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (Mt. 8:10). It is hard for us to imagine that the One who brought the world into being could possibly marvel about anything that happened down here. In the above verses there were two attitudes displayed that caused Him to wonder or marvel: the unbelief of those who had seen His miracles and the faith of one Gentile who believed He had the power to do anything He wanted. It is astounding to realize that we can be so full of unbelief that He is filled with amazement or wonder. To His own disciples He had to say: “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?” (Mt. 17:17) We fail to realize the terrible effect on Him that our unbelief often brings. On the other hand, what a thrill to realize that great faith causes Him to marvel. In the midst of all the unbelief and complaining of our day, there are cries that go up to Him that bring delight to Him. They are shouts of great faith that reach out to the One who is willing and able to do great things for those who believe. What does our life bring forth for Him? Does He marvel at our unbelief or does He marvel at our great faith in Him? “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was taken away…And NOW I exhort you to be of good cheer; .... for there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar; and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:22-25).