I Thirst (John 19: 28)
by Ray King
"I'm tired," He sighed. So he stopped--"You go on and get the food. I'll rest right here." He was tired. Bone tired. His feet were hurting. His face was hot. The noon sun was sizzling. He wanted to rest.
So He stopped at the well, waved on His discip;les, stretched a bit and sat down. But before He could close His eyes, here came a Samaritan woman. She was alone. Maybe it was the bags under her eyes or the way she stooped that made Him forget how weary He was. "How strange that she should be here at midday," He may have thought.
"I'm sleepy." He stretched. He yawned. It had been a long day. The crowd had been large, so large that preaching from the beach had proved to be difficult. So He had taught from the bow of a boat.
And now night had fallen fallen and Jesus was sleepy! He might have said. "If you guys don't mind, I am going to catch a few winks." So he did.
On a cloud-covered night on the sea of Galilee, God went to sleep. Someone found Him a pillow--He went to the boat's dryest point and stretched out!
So deep was His sleep, the thunder did not wake Him. Nor did the tossing of the boat. Nor did the salty spray of the stormy waves. Only the screams of some breathless disciples could wake Him.
"I'm angry." He did not have to say it, you could see it in His eyes. Face RED. Blood vessels bulging. Fists clenched. "No more of this!" He could have said. And what had been a temple became a place of conflict--of confrontation. What was a normal day at the market becme a one-man scene!
What was a smile on the Son of God--on Jesus--became a frown--"Get out!" The only thing that flew higher than the tables were the doves, flapping their wings to freedom. An angry Messiah made His point--"Don't go making money off religion!"
We are indebted to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for choosing to include these descriptive traits of the humanity of Christ. They didn't have to--but they did, at just the right time.
Sometimes His Divinity becomes unapproachable, His holiness becomes untouchable, His perfection becomes unmatchable--then--the phone rings and a voice whispers "He was human--don't forget he had flesh." Just at the right time we are reminded that the one to whom we are to pray knows our feelings. He knows our temptations. He has felt discouraged. He has been hungry, sleepy, and tired.
He knows how we feel when the alarm clock goes off. He knows how we feel when the children want different things at the same time. He nods in understanding when we pray in anger. He is touched when we tell Him there is more to do than can ever be done.
"Go into all the world"--but Lord, we are so limited. He says "Yes, you limit yourselves. Pope County--Russellville--Mexico."
He smiles when we confess our weariness. But we are indebted to John for Verse 28 of chapter 9--it simply says "I'm thirsty."
That is not the CHRIST that's thirsty! That's the carpenter's words of humanity in the midst of divinity.
The phrase messes up a sermon outline! The other six statements are more "in character." They are cries we expect--forgiving sinners, promising paradise, caring for His mother--even the cry "my God, My God, why have you forsaken me" is one of power.
But "I thirst."
Just when the cross was packaged and defined--when the manuscript was finished--when we learn what to us are the words--like sanctification, justification, propitiation, and purification . . . Just when the big church building goes up--the Big Steeple--He reminds us that The Word became flesh. He wants us to remember that He was human--as well as devine.
He wants us to know, too, that he knew the drone and the humdrum and the weariness that come with hard work and long days in the carpenter shop. He may have made oxen yoke. Jesus the carpenter had customers--they like the yoke--many said they were easy on oxen. He pioneered our salvation through the world that you and I face daily.
He is the King of Kings--the Lord of Lords--and the Word of Life. He is the Morning Star, the Horn of Salvation, the Prince of Peace.
There are hours when we are restored by remembering that God became flesh and dwelt among us. Our Master knew what it meant to be a crucified carpenter who got thirsty.
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