The following is excerpted and edited from a sermon entitled “Don’t Worry, Yeah Right” from the sermon series, “Living Right In a World Gone Wrong.” The sermon was delivered by Pastor Mark Holmen, President of the Minnesota-based Faith at Home ministry (www.FaithAtHome.com). Pastor Holmen delivered this sermon on March 6, 2016 at Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To see or hear Pastor Holmen’s full sermon, click here. For more information about Mark Holmen, visit http://www.faithathome.com/staff.html.
Jesus is not preaching something that he has not encountered himself. Jesus himself dealt with worry; while on earth, he was fully God, and also fully human. This means that Jesus experienced all the human emotions that we experience. Every single one of them. He wept. He angered. He laughed. And yes, he experienced worry.
In the 26th chapter of his account of the ministry of Jesus, gospel writer Matthew details the Savior’s final meal with his disciples. Judas has left the fellowship to complete his betrayal, and because he’s 100% man, Jesus knows his journey to the cross is nigh. Because he’s 100% man, he is experiencing the limitations of man, too. Rome is renowned for its brutality, and he is about to feel the full force of Roman “pax.”
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to them, ‘Now sit here while I go over there and pray.’ So he took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with them, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘my father. If it's possible, may this cup be taken from me, yet, not as I will, but as you will.’
Is it not reasonable to conclude that Jesus is worried about this situation? How would you feel if you knew you were in for a lengthy kangaroo court and public flogging before an audience that would include former blind, deaf, mute, lame and leprous outcasts? He was in a worrisome situation and when Matthew records Jesus as “sorrowful and troubled,” we see the mystery of his humanity and his deity coming together in the form of a man that we can identify with.
The original word in Greek for sorrow means “to be grieved” or “sad to the point of distress.” The original word in Greek for troubled means “in consternation” or “worried.” Some translations use the word “agony” or a weight of lead upon his spirit.
Jesus fully understands the concept and experience of worry. He experienced worry because he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. Jesus affirms our human programming, in that concern for self, concern for others, concern in general, is an emotion like any other emotion – happy, sad, confused, delighted, and so on – and Jesus, the 100% God-Man, affirms this emotion to us, just like any other emotion.
But Jesus does not stop with his emotional experience, and this is key to understanding how we properly and improperly manage emotions. Jesus knew that his emotions must be slaves to the Father’s will, and this distinction is key in properly managing our emotions in accordance with truth. There is a good way and a bad way to do emotional management, and Jesus is our standard bearer.
By English: Cpl Erik Villagran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons