Big Boys Do Cry
Genesis 44-45; Matthew 14:1-21
Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.
In western society, we swing back and forth to extremes. Decades ago, in my youth, we said glibly “big boys don’t cry.” More recently, the “feeling male” has become the hero, or at least less of a villain than “Rambo” the earlier granite superhero stereotype of cool, hardness.
Once again the Bible shows a different perspective than we generally see in our culture.
John the Baptist preached against sin at the highest levels of society. He paid for that boldness with his head. When Jesus heard the news, He sought solitude and a private place to grieve. That time was interrupted by crowds who came seeking Him. The Lord responded to them without delay, but notice that Jesus felt fully the pain of others, in this case, John the Baptist.
Joseph, too, was moved by the pain of his brothers, deserved though it was. They had suffered long the guilt of their actions toward him, but when he saw their grief he wept and immediately assured them of forgiveness. He even explained how they ought to look at what they had done as a series of events used by God to bring blessing to them all.
Think about it
Both Jesus and Joseph wept for the pain of others. Big boys do cry, but they aren’t crybabies nor whiners. The Bible never portrays a godly man as cold and heartless. But neither is he an emotional basket case unable to take necessary action in a timely way. In today’s reading both Jesus and Joseph showed deep feelings, but both were able to function even with their emotions raw. Let these examples instruct you in Christlike living.
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