I recently read a post on Instagram that talked about the song “Away in a Manger.” It pointed out that baby Jesus didn’t cry…”no crying he made.” And the post went on to talk about why that wasn’t true, that Jesus did cry; that Mary didn’t have special powers to know what her baby needed and be able to meet those needs before he communicated them with a cry.
The post was meant to help parents see some of their child’s behaviors as communication, as kids being kids, and not as selfish or a sin. While that is a very important and needed message, it left me thinking more and more about how Jesus experienced life as a baby.
Either you were a baby, have had a baby, or both; there is nothing more universal and even ordinary than a crying baby. Jesus was one of us! He experienced hunger, got overtired, pooped his pants. He was vulnerable and dependent on others. His humanity, of course, didn’t stop at infancy either. He had to learn how to talk and walk, make friends, learn how to read, and how to work a job.
Maybe five or six years ago, our church read through 1st and 2nd John during the season of Lent and 1 John 2:1 talks about how Jesus is our “advocate with the Father” and that has stuck with me ever since.
At the time, I pictured Jesus having experiencing the events that led up to his death and the crucifixion itself; suffering, abandonment, torture, deep pain, pleaddddddiinnnggg with God the Father by saying things like, “You HAVE to help them, Father. It’s hard down there (on Earth), they NEED our help. They’re hurting and I know what that’s like.”
He was able to plead for us because he had experienced all of the hurt, grief, and suffering that we could ever experience. I still hang on to this image tightly and find so much comfort in praying to a God that has been through what I’m going through.
I’m also finding a lot of comfort lately in the fact that Jesus experienced the seemingly ordinary of life as well. As documented, and not documented in the Bible, Jesus’ life before he turned 30 was pretty typical. Growing and learning, forming relationships, working a day job, living in his family home; these are things he also understands as well. This means that NO part of our lives are too small or unimportant to Jesus.
Jesus has experienced the entire human spectrum from extreme joy, to the mundane, to intense suffering. We can go to him when we have experienced loss or pain, and he understands. We can turn to him when we had a crappy day at work, and he understands. This is amazing news!
Sometimes when I pray thoughts pop into my head that sounds like “Should you really be praying about that? Does god care about (fill in the blank)? It’s not important, there are bigger things going on in the world” But those are lies, there is nothing too small or too ordinary. Jesus cares about us, is for us, loves us and deeply understands us.
Hebrews 7:25 says that Jesus “always lives to intercede for us.” He lives to plead for us because he too was a human, an ordinary crying baby. Another verse to consider: Romans 8:34 says that Jesus “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
Thank you Kara for reminding us that God loves us so much he became human and lived among us.
Jesus always lives to intercede for us... best prayer warrior ever. How he loves us!! He's pulling for us and in our corner!