Ortlund in his book about Jesus, Gentle and Lowly, teaches that Jesus, as much as he hates sin, reacts to us with love when we sin. When I sin Jesus responds to me in pity the same way he would if he were responding to me after I found out I had a disease. Ortlund makes the case that in the eyes of Jesus, sin is more egregious than disease. But Jesus responds with greater love, the more egregious the offense. “The greater the misery is, the more is the pity when the party is beloved” (quoting Goodwin).
“…when we consider the hatred a father has against a terrible disease afflicting his child—the father hates the disease while loving the child. Indeed, at some level the presence of the disease draws out his heart to his child all the more” (Gentle and Lowly by Ortlund pg 71).
Jesus offers us grace when we are hurting. Grace does NOT come from a warehouse that is stored to capacity from which Jesus draws some portion in order to bring us comfort for the challenge we face. It comes ALONG WITH Jesus who comes to us with gracious love in our sickness. Jesus personally interacts with us with gracious compassion. Jesus interacts as a dear friend coming to us the way we interact with someone we love when they are hurting, except he does it perfectly and with the full force of pure love that only God can bring with him to our situation. Jesus meets us and embraces us as our closest family would with unfaltering love. 1 John 4:16
We humans are more inclined to panic in our despair over sickness and circumstances than to our sin. God responds to our sin, which we so easily dismiss, with the volume turned all the way up to the FULL force of God’s perfect and abundant expression of love, as high as God can turn it up, and he despises sin! Oh how easy it is for God to flood us with waves of perfect love when it is only a trying circumstance that we face.
Stephen Williams January 15, 2021