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Grieving What He Grieves

Encounter: Find a quiet place away from distractions to read Luke 4:16-30. Reflect upon the loss of someone close to you and the pain in your heart that you felt or perhaps still feel to this day.

Episode 3 of season 3 we see a reflection of Jesus’ childhood and his earthly father Joseph teaching him how to read Isaiah 61. Joseph has Jesus give him a box and begins to tell him about the legacy of a bridle that was used on a mule as Joseph’s ancestors were being led from Egypt. The bridle was all that was left of the journey that led the Israelites from slavery to freedom.

Grief is defined as deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. Last month, I lost a friend of mine. We were two of the first employees hired at the paper mill in Hartford City and worked together for the last 34.5 years before he retired in January of this year. As everyone knows, when you lose someone close to you, your heart breaks and the pain is difficult to work through. While this loss broke my heart, the worst part was witnessing the pain his son and daughter were going through.

Because of the daughter’s life choice, her father, my friend, was unable to accept this choice and the two of them had not spoken for two years. My heart broke for the both of them.

While we can see the grief on Jesus and Mary’s faces as they looked at the tomb of Joseph in episode 3, there was a different grief on the face of Jesus, especially when he was at the synagogue reading from Isaiah 61 and interpreting the scripture to the people. Jesus explained that he had come to bring healing to the broken hearted and to free the captives. The captives he refers to are not those in prisons made of bars, but prisons of sin, greed, and passions. He was referring to those in spiritual debt, but as Rabbi Benjamin proclaimed, the Israelites were the chosen seed and did not have spiritual debt as they are the descendants of Abraham, the chosen people.

Up to this point, there were thousands of people seeking Jesus because they were starving for him. They were being healed, fed, and given hope and yet the people from Jesus’ home town were blinded by their own self entitlement. Jesus wanted to help them, but they could not get past the point that Jesus was the son of Mary and Joseph and admit they were suffering from spiritual debt. Jesus was heartbroken.

Reflect: Think back to the loss of someone close to you and the pain that comes from that loss. Can you have the same heartbreaking pain for someone who is in spiritual debt? Our world, our country, and our community have people suffering, hungry, and hopeless who need Jesus. They need you to help guide them to Hope, Love, and Life in Jesus. By fully relying on God (FROG), He will give you what you need to lead that someone from the darkness to the Light of Life!

Grieving with you and our Lord,

Phil Freel

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