Some of the most comforting aspects of Jesus’ life are subtle. Like the time he said, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy--full of greed and wickedness!” The point of course had to do with hypocrisy and Jesus’ disdain of it. But subtly hidden in his comments is the implication that he was no stranger to washing dishes. That should come as no surprise to us as he was also no stranger to washing feet.
Is it not reassuring to know that Jesus knew about the mundane parts of life like sweeping floors (Luke 11:25), being thirsty (John 4:8), daily hunger (Matthew 6:11) and being tired (Mark 4:38). All of that is to say that Jesus identified with the human experience. But, more importantly, he identified with the passion of being tempted. “He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Jesus, then, knew what it was like to fend off something that is addictive, what it was like to be lured by something forbidden, what it was like to want to give up on difficult people. He knew what it was like to be you! Maybe that’s why he is so full of grace – because he knows the temptation of being full of vindictiveness.
Bud Ross is pastor of Central Church of Christ in Ada. He has served in the church since 1971.