Jesus HARDWIRED us to feel like him!
Every man asks the question at some point in time or another. "How was I supposed to feel?" In a culture that has emasculated men at every turn men don't really know how to act or feel. Any attempt to stand up in the way we are individually hardwired is met with resistance, wokeness, and even the deconstruction of everything we know that is considered manly. We hope that this short journal will help you determine how to better lead, serve and love in the way that Jesus hardwired us to be as men when he experienced everything that we do.
…For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.—Paul. Philippians 4:12-13 [The Passion Translation].
To become like Jesus we need to befriend his emotions. It’s important to appreciate that Jesus is a feeler who experiences and expresses deep and vivid emotions about many things in life. Too often the cultural picture painted around the nature of Jesus is docile at best. A deeper look into the feeling and emotions of Jesus that are recorded in scripture reveal that Jesus lived a wildly passionate, loving, and robust, lifestyle as a man.
Most don’t like to hear this kind of terminology in relationship to the emotions of Jesus but He truly was a was a feeler and still is! You might take issue with that statement as a man, in fact most Christian leaders today seem to. We’ve been very busy emasculating the very true nature of men as seen in the life of Jesus for quite some time in our church culture. Early in my life and even in ministry, I was discipled to disregard my emotions and soon became captive to a host of feelings and emotions that were labeled as insignificant and I was shamed as being over emotional, too sensitive. In todays culture, No adult man wants to be spanked and labeled as someone who overreacts to shame! (butt•hurt). Thus, even in matters of spirituality; if I did not comply with the religious mindset or If I rallied with empathy to those who were being who were being religiously shamed for sin; I would be spiritually emasculated, deprived of my ministry role and identity, and shamed into following the religious mindset and protocol as a young Pastor.
The truth is that Jesus felt all the struggles that we do. He was despised and rejected of men and experienced everything that we do including temptations to sin, so he empathizes with us to help us grow in emotional wholeness and holiness
Hebrews 4:15. He understands humanity, for as a man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin.
If we admire and bond with Jesus the Feeler, then it will help us put more value on the emotions that we and other people have. It will encourage us to convey more emotion in our relating, praying, leading, preaching, and teaching. It will help us to clothe ourselves with the compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience of Christ and to love and lead our families and those around us.
Colossians 3:12. You are always and dearly loved by God! So robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others.
Social psychology research backs this way of thinking about feelings by showing that emotional intelligence or our (EQ) is the key to success in relationships and work and it starts with a self-awareness of how we feel as individual men and women along with the understanding that Jesus felt the same things that we do.
In the Bible, Jesus demonstrates the full range of human emotions and expresses them in perfect love. We will start by identifying over 39 different emotions that Jesus experienced. That’s a lot of emotions! Personally, as men we may not be able to even name 39 different emotions, much less feel and verbalize them as easily as women might!
Note! I am not advocating that a man should go through life whining about every little thing that gets in their craw! On the other hand, the term “Man-Up” has been all too often used as an excuse to be unempathetic towards each other. As spiritually healthy men, we should be in touch with the feelings and emotions that will cause isolation, unhealthy independence, and those things that will keep us from living as a king, a leader, and a lover of our family, our community, and the world around us.
I have taken these examples from a truly important guide to my personal spiritual direction named Bill Gaultiere. Bill has grouped 39 feelings and their Bible references into eleven core emotions: anxiety, anger, shame, sadness, pain, surprise, hope, faith, love, joy, and peace. Each offers a mirror to help us to verbalize our emotions and receive Jesus’ empathy… It is also important to note that Jesus took upon Himself all of the feelings and emotions that we experience when he received 39 lashes on his back. I have highlighted more than 39 because that is just how complete the work of the Cross is! It goes far beyond any feeling or emotion that I can experience.
These are eleven emotion words that Jesus experienced, and that we also experience, they are not just emotions — they’re conditions of a whole person. They include emotions, as well as intentions, attitudes, physical states, and relational postures. (They are seen in the outflow of Jesus’ nature and character as a reference to what we experience as Christ is lived through us.)
As you consider Jesus’ 39 emotional states below, let them serve as a mirror to you. Our Lord is reflecting to us the language of feelings:
Preparing to go to the cross, Jesus prayed with such great anxiety that he sweat drops of blood
Luke 22:44. He prayed even more passionately, like one being sacrificed, until he was in such intense agony of spirit that his sweat became drops of blood, dripping onto the ground.
He also felt afraid!
Hebrews 5:7. During Christ’s days on earth he pleaded with God, praying with passion and with tearful agony that God would spare him from death. And because of his perfect devotion his prayer was answered and he was delivered.
Luke 12:50. But first I must be immersed into the baptism of God’s judgment, and I am consumed with passion as I await its fulfillment
John 11:33; 12:27 When Jesus looked at Mary and saw her weeping at his feet, and all her friends who were with her grieving, he shuddered with emotion and was deeply moved with tenderness and compassion. - “Even though I am torn within, and my soul is in turmoil, I will not ask the Father to rescue me from this hour of trial. For I have come to fulfill my purpose—to offer myself to God.
Mark 14:33. He took Peter, Jacob, and John with him. An intense feeling of great horror plunged his soul into deep sorrow. And he said to them, “My heart is overwhelmed with anguish and crushed with grief. It feels as though I’m dying. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Jesus was angry with the Pharisees who opposed him healing the man with a deformed hand on the Sabbath.
(Mark 3:5). Then looking around at everyone, Jesus was moved with indignation and grieved by the hardness of their hearts and said to the man, “Now stretch out your hand!” As he stretched out his hand, it was instantly healed.
He also felt boiling passion
(John 2:17) That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture: “I am consumed with a fiery passion to keep your house pure!”
(John 11:33, 39) When Jesus looked at Mary and saw her weeping at his feet, and all her friends who were with her grieving, he shuddered with emotion and was deeply moved with tenderness and compassion. He said to them, “Where did you bury him?”
“Lord, come with us and we’ll show you,” they replied.
Then tears streamed down Jesus’ face.
Seeing Jesus weep caused many of the mourners to say, “Look how much he loved Lazarus.” Yet others said, “Isn’t this the One who opens blind eyes? Why didn’t he do something to keep Lazarus from dying?”
Then Jesus, with intense emotions, came to the tomb—a cave with a stone placed over its entrance. Jesus told them, “Roll away the stone.”
Then Martha said, “But Lord, it’s been four days since he died—by now his body is already decomposing!”
Jesus looked at her and said, “Didn’t I tell you that if you will believe in me, you will see God unveil his power?”
He was also indignant!
(Mark 10:14-15). When Jesus saw what was happening, he became indignant with his disciples and said to them, “Let all the little children come to me and never hinder them! Don’t you know that God’s kingdom exists for such as these? Listen to the truth I speak: Whoever does not open their arms to receive God’s kingdom like a teachable child will never enter it.”
By choice, Jesus experienced a shameful death on the cross for our sins
(Hebrews 12:2). We look away from the natural realm and we focus our attention and expectation onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
He also felt depressed
(Mark 14:33) and forsaken (Mark 15:34).
From the Mount of Olives, Jesus looked down on Jerusalem and wept with sadness because they rejected God’s offer of peace
(Luke 19:41-42). When Jesus caught sight of the city, he burst into tears with uncontrollable weeping over Jerusalem, saying, “If only you could recognize that this day peace is within your reach! But you cannot see it.
He also felt grief
(Mark 3:5), deep sighs (Mark 8:12), deep distress (Matthew 26:37), crushing grief (Mark 14:34), and tearful (John 11:35, 43).
Jesus experienced terrible pain when he was flogged.
(Mark 15:15). Because he wanted to please the people, Pilate released Barabbas to them. After he had Jesus severely beaten with a whip made of leather straps and embedded with metal, he sentenced him to be crucified.
He also suffered (Luke 24:26, Hebrews 2:18, 1 Peter 2:21), and was hungry (Matthew 4:2, 21:18), thirsty (John 19:28), and weary (John 4:6).
Jesus felt amazed by the faith of the Roman officer
(Luke 7:9). Jesus marveled at this. He turned around and said to the crowd who had followed him, “Listen, everyone! Never have I found among the people of God a man like this who believes so strongly in me.”
He also felt astonished as he prayed to his Abba about his cross (Mark 14:33).
Jesus’ love for God and us comes from his hope
(1 Corinthians 13:7 Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
(Colossians 1:5). Your faith and love rise within you as you access all the treasures of your inheritance stored up in the heavenly realm. For the revelation of the true gospel is as real today as the day you first heard of our glorious hope, now that you have believed in the truth of the gospel.
This is the wonderful message that is being spread everywhere, powerfully changing hearts throughout the earth, just like it has changed you! Every believer of this good news bears the fruit of eternal life as they experience the reality of God’s grace.
He also felt curious (Luke 19:5).
Jesus lived by faith (confident trust) in God, showing us how to do it. (Paul says, "I live by the faith of Christ" in…
(Galatians 2:20). My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me— we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine!
See also John 15:12.)
Jesus felt genuine love for people like the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:21), Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (John 11:5), and his disciples as he washed their feet (John 13:1).
He had deep friendship love that altered his movements as a man. So much so that He returned back to the area where they were going to stone himhim instead of isolating.
(John 11:1-11) In the village of Bethany there was a man named Lazarus, and his sisters, Mary and Martha. Mary was the one who would anoint Jesus’ feet with costly perfume and dry his feet with her long hair. One day Lazarus became very sick to the point of death. So his sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, our brother Lazarus, the one you love, is very sick. Please come!”
When he heard this, he said, “This sickness will not end in death for Lazarus, but will bring glory and praise to God. This will reveal the greatness of the Son of God by what takes place.”
Now even though Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, he remained where he was for two more days. Finally, on the third day, he said to his disciples, “Come. It’s time to go to Bethany.”
“But Teacher,” they said to him, “do you really want to go back there? It was just a short time ago the people of Judea were going to stone you!”
Jesus replied, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight in every day? You can go through a day without the fear of stumbling when you walk in the One who gives light to the world. But you will stumble when the light is not in you, for you’ll be walking in the dark.”
Then Jesus added, “Lazarus, our friend, has just fallen asleep. It’s time that I go and awaken him.”
He felt compassion. (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34), and sympathy (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus was exceedingly joyful when he saw that 72 ordinary disciples were able to minister the power of God’s kingdom to people (Luke 10:21). He also felt rejoicing (John 15:11; 17:13), glad (John 11:15), and thankful (Matthew 11:25).
Hebrews 1:9 says, “Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness “more than any of His fellows.” That is, He had a gladness about Him that was unparalleled in any other person. Truly, whoever looks at the Lord cannot help but be impressed with Him. One would think however, that the secret to such attractiveness, effectiveness, and joy would be very complex. One would think that Jesus must have understood esoteric mysteries and implemented difficult methodology. But such is not the case, for throughout the scriptures, we see the simplicity of the secret Jesus understood that produced in Him the life that was so successful and so beautiful. What was this secret? The very foundational principle that governed His entire life was His relationship with His Father. Jesus would pause for union with the Father so frequently that He would proclaim to His followers, “I and my Father are ONE! And, If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”
Jesus felt peace from heaven’s world and shared this with his disciples before he died
(John 14:27). “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous! “Remember what I’ve told you, that I must go away, but I promise to come back to you. So if you truly love me, you will be glad for me, since I’m returning to my Father, who is greater than I. So when all of these things happen, you will still trust and cling to me. I won’t speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this dark world is coming. But he has no power over me, for he has nothing to use against me. I am doing exactly what the Father destined for me to accomplish, so that the world will discover how much I love my Father. Now come with me.”
He also felt rest (Matthew 11:28) and refreshment (Mark 6:31).
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us empathy and grace in all of our emotional difficulties in order to help us love God, ourselves, and the people around us. There is no one thing that you didn’t feel or experience, and nothing you can’t redeem, heal, or repair!
Wild on the Path is a ministry of:
"The Redeemed Adventure Project,"
The Soul Renovation Project.
Contact us at www.johnfairrington.com