Touching our Weakness

02 Aug
from Google Images

from Google Images

My daughter once asked me a leading question that would categorize me in one of the five love languages.[1] I think she was reading Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages at the time—that, or she was discussing the book in her Sunday school group. When I told her touch meant more to me than anything else, she quickly announced that most men say that, but it isn’t so. However, I recalled for her that one of my most vivid memories as a child was the one where my Dad and I went for a walk, and he put his arm around my shoulder. To this very day I can feel his arm. No matter what I am doing at the time or whosoever has my attention, if my wife or anyone else touches me on my back, I am immediately aware of it, and that one has my undivided attention. Touch is very important to me.

When the One who became Jesus wrapped himself in flesh (Philippians 2:7; John 1:14), he took upon himself the weakness of the flesh. He touched us where we are—where we live. He could feel our fears, our sense of powerlessness, our struggles, our defeats, our shame and any other thing that accentuates our feeling of helplessness and weighs us down and takes away our peace. Nevertheless, he tells us that he has overcome our world of weights and measures (John 16:33). How had he overcome? It was through walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

By walking in the Spirit Jesus could be afraid (Matthew 26:38) and not allow fear to be his master. He could be powerless (Luke 22:67-68) and not allow weakness to destroy him. He could struggle, laboring for the sake of others and be disowned by his friend (Luke 22:60-61), and not lose heart. He could be utterly defeated (John 19:30) and turn it into victory (Luke 24:5-6). He could feel shame (Matthew 27:29) and not be demoralized (Hebrews 12:2). In his weakness Jesus has touched me in my weakness—touched all of us in each of our weaknesses, and healed us, so that we don’t have to feel the full weight of sin. Rather he invites us to take his yoke upon us and learn by walking in the Spirit (in Him), because his yoke is sweet and his burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30; cp. Galatians 5:16).

Perhaps the most debilitating feeling or burden one could have is guilt. It may be the very first burden mankind was made to bear, when Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:7, 10). Guilt takes away our peace with one another, so that we hide from one another, either by removing our presence from them, or masking our presence with them. We may be afraid of what others may think of us, if they knew what we said or did. Perhaps they do know and won’t or can’t forgive us. Guilt is a terrible burden to have to bear, and it cannot be simply set aside. Something needs to be done before guilt can give way to peace and acceptance.

In touching me, Jesus has empowered me to touch others. Because he knows me in my weakness, I am able to accept myself and my limitations, and in doing so, I am able to know others and accept them in theirs. Because I am forgiven, I am able to forgive myself, and this empowers me to forgive others. Because the weight of sin has been lifted from me, I am able to feel the freedom God has always desired me to have (Galatians 5:1), and I am enabled to take away any debt others may owe me and allow them to be free of that burden, as well. The checkbook is balanced; the weights and measures are taken away, and we can live at peace with one another. Jesus has touched us where we are.


[1] As I said HERE, this current theme about the person of Jesus is based upon the book: The Jesus Style by Gayle Erwin. They are my thoughts about his book. He may or may not agree with the impression his book has made upon me, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Gayle wrote and recommend his book to anyone who is looking for a good read about Jesus.

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