Like Father, Like Son
It is interesting how often we will pick and choose which attributes we feel comfortable assigning to God, often with an air of reverence and awe, but ignoring His words completely. If anger is the emotion, we are perfectly fine with this being used to describe God. However, the emotion of sadness may be a little disconcerting, despite the words of scripture. (Genesis 6:6; Psalm 78:40; Isaiah 54:6; 63:10)
Even though we believe that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) and “the exact representation of His nature,” (Hebrews 1:3) there are many emotions that Jesus displays that we would be reticent to assume God has. This ignores what Jesus told His disciples directly. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Instead of seeing Jesus’ emotions as making Him different from the Father, let us use them to understand the Father better.
Jesus felt and expressed great joy that only some people would understand the gospel. That might sound counterintuitive, but the Son was rejoicing “in the Holy Spirit” that it was the Father’s plan that the truth of the gospel was hidden from the “wise and intelligent” but had revealed it to the simple. (Luke 10:21-24) Further, Jesus took great joy in knowing God’s nature in a way that no one else did, and that He was the only method of coming to know the father fully. When we look at the religious scene that was present in Judea at the time, this makes much more sense, because the people who claimed to know God had wicked and selfish hearts, but it was the poor and downtrodden who understood His ways. (cf. Isaiah 61:1-3)
Jesus loved even those who were continuing in sin. The man we often refer to as the “rich young ruler” had a problem with idolatry, as he let his great possessions keep him from following Jesus’ commands. However, we read that after his claim that he had kept the law from his youth, Jesus “felt a love for him and” told him the truth about His failure. (Mark 10:17-22) Despite the fact that the man was trying to flatter Jesus when they met, and was trying to avoid giving everything to God, Jesus loved him enough to tell him the hard truth about his condition.
There are, perhaps, more famous accounts of Jesus weeping (John 11:35), but we should not forget that He also cried over the impending doom that faced Jerusalem. Despite all that God had done to reach out to the rebellious people, and all the correction that He had provided, even to the extent that He sent His Son, the people would not recognize “the things which make for peace.” (Luke 19:41-4) The result was that her enemies would “level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another.” A sad situation, indeed.
When we see Jesus, and we read about His emotional responses, let us not see a man who differs from God and His nature, but let use those instances to understand Him more readily. After all, like Father, like Son.