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The Emotional Life of a Godly Man

Today’s reading: Genesis 44-45; Matthew 14:1-21

10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. 13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.  Matthew 14:10-13a

The story of John the Baptist’s beheading for his bold preaching against sin at the highest levels of society moved Jesus to seek private time alone to grieve. That time was interrupted by crowds who came seeking Him, but we ought to consider that Jesus felt deeply the pain of His people, in this case, John the Baptist, who was His cousin and the one designated to prepare His way among the Jews.

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 had occurred, a series of events orchestrated by God to bring blessing to them.

In western society, we swing back and forth to extremes. A generation ago a popular song informed us that “big boys don’t cry.” Since the 1990’s, the “feeling male” has become the hero, or at least less of a villain than “Rambo” the earlier granite superhero stereotype of cool, hardness.

The Bible does not portray real men as cold and heartless. Jesus was not. But neither is the godly man an emotional basket case unable to take necessary action in a timely way. In today’s reading both Jesus and Joseph felt deeply, but both were able to function even with their emotions raw. How do these examples instruct you in Christlike living?

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