Jesus Christ is very pitiful
Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 11, 2017
By Fr. Jonathan J. Filkins
Blasphemy! How could someone say such a thing about our Savior? Such heresies only diminish the efficacy of those Christians trying to bring others to the Son of God!
In truth, saying that Jesus Christ is pitiful is an accurate statement. It comes from the Holy Bible and the Epistle of Saint James. However, it is not being repeated here in the full context of the verses, or of the chapter, and it is herein lays the challenge of our understanding of Scripture and human communication in general.
The expanded verses are, “Take my brethren the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering, affliction and patience. Behold, we count them happy which endured. Ye have heard the patience of Job, and have the end of the Lord; that the Lord, (Jesus Christ,) is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
In our predilection to assume the darkness of each other’s hearts, there is the oft repeated mistake of taking the truth, out of context. In this Bible verse, as we see the essential nature of truth manipulated to present an untruth; or an untruth by omission of crucial information. By the absence of the contextual information, we are lead to believe in the unbelievable.
Consider the words of the Passion of the Christ, in His agony, He exclaimed, “My God, my God, why hast though forsaken me?”
alone, it would appear that Jesus was denying his divinity at the last agonizing moment of His earthy life; seemingly ample fodder for those who would seek to prove the fallibility of a purported pseudo-Christ.
In context, it has its roots in the twenty-second psalm and was all about His imminent human departure, as He concluded, “It is finished,”
What our Lord seeks from us is to be as He; filled with faith, hope and charity for humankind, and our Creator. Selectively taking Scripture to prove a narrow view, or even an untruth, is no different than lying about the truth.
This is why our designs and efforts are to be grounded in the “real truth,” and not the “convenient truth.”
Keeping ourselves grounded in the truth of God’s expectations of us is, so very often, extraordinarily difficult. Our designs to be “Cafeteria Christians,” picking and choosing the tasty morsels of Christ’s commands, and rejecting the others, as too bitter to be palatable, are not options for true believers. Nowhere in Scripture does it say we are given the choice to accept, or reject what God wants from us, or for us.
However, this is exactly the point, as we were given the choice, to make choices. Consider, if are to make the wrong choices, then it is we who are in peril. Then, it is we who are pitiful, but this is the choice we may make.
Yes, our Lord is very pitiful. In His suffering for us, we should have pity on Him, for ourselves and the sacrifice He made for us. Indeed, our Savior does not need our pity. Indeed, he needs nothing from us, as He is the all and everything.
In these pre-Easter days, for some these days of Lent, these are days of penance and coming closer to God, in our thoughts, words and deeds, as we reflect upon the pity-full nature and mercy of Christ Jesus.