It is through his divinity that we connect to his humanity

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I read a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane this week. Gosh, he was brilliant! The sermon was about the painful emotions Jesus experienced the night before his crucifixion.
Mark said Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled. Matthew said his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Luke said his prayers were so desperate he sweat drops of blood.
But many, King said, are uncomfortable with the idea that Jesus was afraid.They find it hard to believe that he was depressed. They have never considered the idea that Jesus didn’t want to die either.
And, it’s pretty clear from the story that he did not want to die.
King said, we have pitched him so high as the divine Son of God that we forget he was a real human being; Jesus was not just pretending to be a human being.
Some think this diminishes his humanity. But King said just the opposite is true. How much more meaningful it is to believe that he was able to overcome his fear and anxiety to follow God’s will?  To the contrary, it demonstrates his courage and faithfulness to God’s will. Much more it shows us that we can be honest with God about what we are feeling when life comes crashing down on us too. We don’t have to pretend to be something that we are not. Jesus didn’t and neither should we.
I believe that it is through his humanity that we can best connect to his divinity.
Dr. King went on to say in the sermon, “You can stand up amid despair. You can stand up amid persecution. You can stand up amid disappointment. You can stand up even amid death. But you don’t worry because you know God is with you.”
BTW, King wrote that sermon in the spring of 1957, after four black churches had been bombed, and when his life was being threatened. (You can read Dr. Kings sermon by clicking on this HERE.)
These are some of the things I am thinking toward Sunday. You can prepare by reading about the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, and Luke 22:39-46.
Here are three questions to think about.
  1. Do the painful human emotions Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane surprise you?
  2. When has your soul been overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death?
  3. When you pray, how direct are you with God about how you feel and what you need?
See you Sunday,