I don’t know why this never occurred to me before, but it wasn’t always hot and sunny while Jesus walked the earth. Maybe I’ve seen too many pictures of Jesus standing in a sunbeam or walking along a desert road, but it never really crossed my mind that Jesus would have been cold. I tried to find a picture online of Jesus walking in the rain, but couldn’t. Even during the “great storm on the sea” where Jesus is walking on water, He doesn’t even get wet!!! I saw Jesus making rain, and Christians in the rain, but not one where Jesus stands with chattering teeth, soaked to the bone, rubbing his arms to keep warm, about to sneeze, while trying to deliver a message with a stuffed up nose. [I wish I knew how to draw so I could create such a picture — anyone out there got the mad skilz to help me?]
Jesus Got Cold?
Why was this such a big revelation to me? Probably because, like many Christians, I forget that Jesus was fully human, living in a real world. Because of my love, respect, and awe of Him, it’s easy to think of Him curing the blind man, calming a storm, walking on water, ascending into the clouds… but Jesus with a cold… that’s somehow harder.
This happened today as I was reading a book I’m reviewing for Moody Press called “Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus” by Charles H. Dyer [full review coming soon]. He pointed me to John 10:22-42 which begins like this, “At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe.'”
Dyer points out,
“Jerusalem is a beautiful city, but late December is not always the best time to visit. December through February are the coldest–and rainiest–months of the year…. The days can be dark, damp and dreary. And if there’s a cold, biting wind pushing in from the Mediterranean, you can quickly become chilled to the bone… And that’s why, in John 10, we find Jesus…’walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.'”
An Excuse to be Grumpy
What Dyer had probably meant as background to the narrative he was telling about Jesus, I took as a powerful point. I know that Jesus suffered, “was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa 53:3), and “has been tempted as we are” (Heb 4:15), but I forget sometimes that those temptations included regular days when he had every excuse to be grumpy, selfish and whiny — like I am sometimes.
Of course we don’t know for sure, but it seems logical that in John 10 Jesus is cold, wet (after walking there), and surrounded by people who are being grouchy and pushy. How many times has he already told them that He is the Christ? Dyer points out that He had told Nicodemus (a Pharisee) he was the Son of God (John 3:16), told the woman at the well He was the Messiah (John 4:25-26), publicly told the religious leaders He was the one predicted by Moses (John 5:45-47) and had told a whole crowed that they should believe in Him and that He had existed before Abraham had (John 8:56-58)! It’s not like He kept it a secret!
I don’t know what His tone was when He said “I told you…”, but I know what tone I would have had!
I TOLD YOU A MILLION TIMES! *ZAP WITH LIGHTNING* I’M COLD! I’M SICK! I’M GOING HOME!
I was amazed by Jesus again this morning. Amazed at His love, grace, and how much He can identify with me. I’m also amazed at how much I’ve been forgiven for, and how much more sanctification I need!