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Consider Him as our gentle Lord

The gentleness of Jesus

Matt 11: 28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

There are a number of thoughts that spring up when we think of the gentleness of God

It is linked with ideas of meekness, humility, calmness. You get the sense of God being settled in himself and being able to respond to situations in a manner which is both clear and winsome.

When we think of the gentleness of Jesus, it shouldn’t be gentle Jesus meek and mild, not weakness. In Matt 21 at the triumphal entry to Jerusalem, Matthew quotes Zach 9, ‘see your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey’. He came in peace, yet, in the next passage we see Jesus righteous anger revealed at the temple, where certain people were using the place and worship of God for their own ends, thus misrepresenting God to the people. So we must not confuse compassion with softness:

Compassion recognises people in their mess or sin and is moved to do something,

softness says ‘there there’ it doesn't matter.

Gentleness is the manner compassion reaches out to help.

We see it in the touch of a leper, the acceptance of a child, the response to the weeping widow at the loss of her only son, the turning aside from the adoring crowd to go to minister to a grieving family, because a little girl was important to God, and the tears at Lazarus’ grave. Jesus was gentle but not weak.

in the midst of his battle with the Pharisees in Matt 12 quotes from Is 42 about the bruised reed and the smoldering wick, this is the ministry of the Servant of God, to lift up, to restore and that takes strength, especially to do it without throwing your weight and power around!

I love the story of the prodigal son. Here we see the love of the father for his erring child. The manner of his approach to his returning son is very moving, no indignation, no condemnation, just a loving, restorative welcome. I love to think of God like that, it makes me feel safe, even when I stray, I know he will not bully or condemn me but he lovingly waits for me to come to the end of myself and gently welcomes me home, there is great power in true gentleness.

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