Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” – Mark 9:7 (RSV)
Jesus says he’s gentle. Though I know he also taught that he would bring a sword, today’s focus is on Christ’s bold gentleness. It wasn’t a default out of lack of courage, but Christ’s gentleness is a trait of the fruit of God’s work in Christ’s life.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:29 (RSV)
Jesus also claimed to be gentle and humble in heart. The one who could have called God’s wrath, fire and angels in an instant chose instead to hold back when justice needed to be served in the moment. He chose to heal the hurting and fan the flame of life within each soul he encountered.
…He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, till he brings justice to victory; and in his name will the Gentiles [That’s me!] hope. – Matthew 12:20b (RSV)
Maybe he’s teaching me something about my heart-position, and that bold gentleness is a grander tool to reveal God’s heart than bold indignation. Indignation at the things God’s angry at is necessary, but even then, my response is to hit the target of gentleness.
Jesus forgave a man blind from birth who would otherwise have been cursed physically, emotionally and psychologically by the theologians of his day. Instead of joining in the madding crowd, Jesus gave a better perspective.
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
– John 9:3
Christ took opportunity to heal a man rather than take precious time to map this man’s or his parent’s sins. Whether they were considered righteous in God’s eyes, or continual sinners “learning the hard way,” who knows. But what is revealed is that Christ chose immediate gentleness and compassion.
John and I have gone back and forth when it comes to giving money to the homeless. We hear all the arguments for and against. Meanwhile, if all we do is think and pray while we drive by someone who is desperate enough to stand on a street corner while having a little change in our pockets we don’t need, might we not be grieving Jesus?
But the wonderful thing is, we are immediately blessed after giving God’s money away.
We usually hear in response, “God bless!” We chose to accept the blessing and hear their grateful souls and give glory to God in our hearts. We believe it’s what Jesus would do in his gentleness and compassion.
One thing I respect more today than ever is how strong a person it takes to stand on a street corner and incur the stares and judgements of others as they beg. I have respect for grassroots organizations who serve the homeless and empower them to be as productive citizens as possible.
I believe it pleases God’s heart, and I want to be counted among those who are boldly gentle for Jesus.
For who knows, we may be entertaining angels (Heb. 13:2)