We’ve talked about the first three tools Jesus used in His ministry of reconciling others to Himself: truth, touch, and transparency. Now it is time to talk about tenderness, the fourth tool of reconciliation.
There are times in the gospel where Jesus is amazingly tender to those in need of His touch. Matthew tells us that once when Jesus was teaching, preaching and healing, we was filled with compassion for the crowds, “…because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 22:36) Once when the disciples tried to protect Jesus by shooing away people who were bringing their little children for Jesus to touch, Jesus became indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them,…” (Mark 10:14)
Another time, as Jesus was teaching on a mountainside, great crowds had come bringing, “the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others.” It was getting late and Jesus said to His disciples, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hunger, or they may collapse on the way.” And he promptly used what was on hand to feed four thousand. (Matthew 15:32).
And, when Jesus saw where they had buried his friend Lazarus, he wept. (John 11:35)
Time and again we see the tenderness of Jesus coming through to minister to those in need and point them to the everlasting Father who cares for all. Never should we make the mistake to believe that Jesus’ display of compassion was in any form a weakness. His tenderness for those broken, those in need, and those in need of reconciliation, was a perfect picture of God the Father and his love for His creation.
Some people of the world serve a terrible and angry God. And while our God is just, awesome, holy and righteous beyond righteousness, He is also a tender, loving God who aggressively seeks those who have lost their way. He is unequivocally on the side of the poor and the needy ready to tenderly call out and reach out to those who need Him and will respond to his overtures of love.
This is good news: God of all creation reaches out to us in tenderness to reconcile us to Himself.
Pretty amazing stuff!