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What Manner of Man

(A weekly program for knowing and following Jesus Christ)

By Richard M. Eyre


You and I feel our deepest, most soul-rending concern and pray our deepest, most soul-pouring prayers when we are in moments of personal crisis (the loss of a loved one, the illness or injury of a family member, or any sort of deep, personal need).

It is family/friend crisis that brings depth of feeling. Christ so knew himself as our literal elder brother that all human crisis, physical or spiritual, was family/friend crisis to him. What you and I might feel for a very sick brother, suddenly taken seriously ill, Christ felt for every sick child, for every ordinary beggar, for each soul-sick Pharisee. What you and I could feel only for our own brother or our own child, he felt, one hundred times over, for all men—for each man.

True sensitivity comes not from learned techniques or from Dale Carnegie rules of human relations. It comes from true and genuine and deep feeling. Our Lord felt all things to their maximum depth.

Perhaps nowhere does the powerful current of his feeling flow more strongly than in the seventeenth chapter of John, where he prays for his apostles.

When scriptural description is given of people who are on the verge of destruction because of their wickedness, the phrase that is sometimes used is “past feeling.” As people become hardened and calloused by selfishness and sin, they begin to lose not only their virtue but their feelings. Our Lord, who was free from all sin and all selfishness, carried with him the deepest and most moving feelings.

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