For God so loved the world. . . John 3:16a
Most people know the hymn “Away In A Manger.” That hymn has a line that refers to the Savior. It states: “no crying He makes.”
It’s a pleasant thought to think that the Savior never cried. It's pleasant, but as far as I am able to tell, unsupported by the Bible. Since we know Jesus cried as a man, it is not a far stretch to think that He also cried as a Child.
In truth, most of our children cry, shout, argue, and make noise. Those are the things children do. It’s part of their job description. This is why I was surprised to hear that Kate Penland and her 19-month-old son, Garren, were kicked off a commercial airplane that was traveling from Atlanta to Oklahoma. (Yes, the stewardess waited until the plane made a scheduled stop in Houston before she ordered the two off.)
As a frequent flyer, I can understand how a stewardess might get tired of a child who kept repeating, “Bye, bye, plane.” I can understand because I get frustrated with children who cry for the entire length of a cross-country flight. (Don’t they get tired?) I get upset with the child who kicks the back of my seat, the person in the next chair who puts their head on my shoulder (my wife excluded), or the person who hasn’t showered in a few weeks, and the person who. . .
The above paragraph could have been longer, but this devotion does have some space limitations. In truth, there are a lot of things and a lot of people who upset me. You probably have your own list of folks who get on your nerves.
This is one of the things I really appreciate about the Lord. The first part of John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world. . .” He loves the little boy who is kicking the back of an airline seat, and He loves the minister who gets upset with the little boy who is kicking his airline seat.
Jesus loves. Jesus loved the man who betrayed Him with a kiss. He loved the men who lied about Him and the ones who made sure He would be crucified. Jesus loved weak Pontius Pilate and the strong soldiers who pounded nails into his hands and feet. Jesus loved sinners so much that He was willing to die so that the condemnation for humanity’s sins might be removed, and so all might be forgiven and saved.
God so loved the world. And God so loved each of us. That idea calls for a prayer.
THE PRAYER: Lord, even as I confess that I am a poor, miserable sinner, I rejoice that Your love can reach out to every poor, miserable sinner this world has produced. For this, I thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.