Selwyn opens today’s study, with these words: “We continue pondering the question: does Jesus know how we feel when we are hurt by cruel and unkind criticism?”
He answers his question, as follows: “The Christian world-view (as Selwyn, sees it), is to face and acknowledge your feelings and recognise they are there. It is not a sin to be hurt. This is a very human response to the instinct for self-preservation that is within all of us. It is a sin only when we harbour a hurt. In my opinion, cruel and unjust criticism would have hurt our Lord deeply, but He made sure that the hurt would be quickly offered to God and not allowed to develop into bitterness in His soul.”
What do you think of his answer?
In Matthew 14:18b-23, NLT, we read: ” … Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. … “
Just before Jesus feed this crowd of people, He was told about the execution of John the Baptist, this news would have greatly distressed Him – yet, as was His practice – He took His grief to His Father. Soon after, He was able to look at the crowd and see them, not as an inconvenience at a time of grieving but as a people, lost without a shepherd. He had compassion on them and healed their sick (Matthew 14:14).
After feeding the people – He went up into the hills by himself to pray – again, to share with His Father (I think), His feelings and thoughts on the progress of His journey; and, to hear His Father’s words. In summary, Jesus provides for us, an example – that in the bad times as well as the good times, we should always take our emotions (joys, as well as hurts) and thoughts to God, on a regular basis – and, we will find compassion in Him.
When was the last time you went to a place by yourself with your hurts and joys, and prayed – offering to God – yourself, and your future?