The Emotions of Jesus Christ
As part of my own Lenten observance this year, I decided that the element that commits me to learning would be usefully expressed through this Blog. I am creating, therefore, a little Cyber Lent Course, as much for my own purposes as yours, and as something of a 'notepad' as I work on something that perhaps might be presented in my ministry at some point in the future! If you are reading this, please recieve it as a work-in-progress and not as a polished piece!
In the world of bloke-dom, the emotion is a fickle friend. Blokes are often accused of being insensitive, uncaring, laddish or silly (well, me at least). My experience is quite the contrary. I, ond others whom I know to be like me, are emtional creatures - we care, very passionately. We hurt, perhaps in private, but very deeply. When we are amused, our whole being is held hostage by laughter! Howver, blokes are not ruled by emotions, and part of our being is that to a certian extent, we can disconnect with how we feel inwardly. even if is paert of an expternal mask. As part of my plain and honest wrestling with myself and who I am (sorry, that is almost a smug and certianly self-centred thing to have just typed), I have wondered what kind of emotional creature Jesus himself was. My belief in the Incarnation means that I have to accept that Jesus 'did' emotion like all of us. He must have known happiness, sadness, jealousy, disappointment, annoyance, fear, disgust, and yes, Jesus will have had to have been capable of attraction and the amorous emotions. This inevitably lead me to ponder the good old Bible, where I quickly discovered that Jesus' emotions are not readily referred to. Yes, dear reader, I will have to go digging - and when I find what I seek, I will present my unearthed treasure here.
But first, some of the methodological stuff, so you know what I am doing! For me, I don't get hung up about such things (it is the 'pragmatist' in me), but some regard it as important, and I am all give give give, me!
When discussing emotions, I have a vast list from which to choose. As I only have one Lent in 2010 and only one lifetime, that list needed a little pruning. I discovered a geezer called Paul Ekman who did a famous study on emotion, but emotion as it is associated with facial expression. His work later took a swerve towards the subject of 'trust'. However, his greatest use to me here is that in 1972 (the year of my birth, sigh) he created a list of the 'dominical' emotions following observation of a tribe in the middle of a vast ocean (or something like that). His list comprises anger, disgust, fear, happiness sadness and surprise. While he expanded on this list in the 90's, this seems to me a good list to work with for this purpose. So, my next post will be on the subject of Jesus Christ and Anger.
There you go; follow this if you wish, or don't if you have better things to do. If you ever encounter my ministry in future years and get given a flyer about a Lent Course by me on this subject, you will know where it all started. Lucky you!