Or­di­nary peo­ple - real char­ac­ters

Paisley Daily Express - - Church News -

“How did we get into this mess?”is the very chal­leng­ing ti­tle of jour­nal­ist Ge­orge Mon­biot’s lat­est book.

He in­ves­ti­gates the global fi­nan­cial forces that dom­i­nate and shape the lives of in­di­vid­ual peo­ple.

He points out that these global forces are heart­less, im­per­sonal, treat­ing hu­man be­ings with a to­tal dis­re­gard to the value of the per­son.

Men and women should not be viewed as num­bers on a multi-na­tional pay­roll to be hired and fired by the de­ci­sions of com­pany boards thou­sands of miles away.

The treat­ment of men and women on zero hour con­tracts is un­ac­cept­able be­cause it is an in­sult to a work­ing per­son.

The value of the hu­man per­son­al­ity is dis­cred­ited, the fate of a per­son’s de­pen­dents dis­re­garded, and the wor­thy of a per­son de­val­ued.

But peo­ple are not like that.

Robert Burns bril­liantly de­scribes in­di­vid­ual dig­nity in‘A Man’s a Man for A’That’.“The rank is but the guinea’s stamp, the man the gowd for a’that.”

Again,“The hon­est man, tho e’er sae poor, Is king o’men for a’ that.”

And fi­nally,“The man o’ in­de­pen­dent mind, He looks and laughs an’a’that.”Men and women have minds to think, and through their wis­dom to lead de­cent lives.

Men and women have feel­ings, feel­ings of care for oth­ers es­pe­cially their fam­i­lies. These feel­ings can be wounded by what hap­pens to us.

Or up­set when a par­ent feels un­able to look af­ter their chil­dren.

How of­ten we hide our feel­ings be­hind that brave smile. Or­di­nary peo­ple have a real sense of right and wrong, fair­ness or in­equal­ity as the res­i­dents of Gren­fell tower have clearly demon­strated.

Peo­ple have hopes for their fu­ture and that of their chil­dren.

We feel it is worth­while mak­ing the ef­fort for oth­ers.

Or­di­nary peo­ple have stan­dards of­ten summed up in the west of Scot­land ver­dict“It’s no de­cent”, when some­thing ter­ri­ble oc­curs.

Je­sus got on best with or­di­nary peo­ple, for Je­sus was a peo­ple’s man. He mixed with the or­di­nary peo­ple, the ones you would pass by in the street with­out notic­ing them (Luke 15.1-2).

In Matthew 8 and 9 there is a col­lec­tion of in­ci­dents in­volv­ing Je­sus.

There are 10 heal­ings and three scenes of con­fronta­tion. But in the con­clud­ing sen­tence we read: “When he saw the crowd Je­sus had com­pas­sion on them for they were help­less and ha­rassed” (Matthew 9.36). So, al­ways re­mem­ber, Je­sus feels deeply for you.

“Je­sus saw the crowd and he had com­pas­sion for them.”The Greek word for‘com­pas­sion’is very strong and is vir­tu­ally un­trans­lat­able.

Je­sus re­ally felt for peo­ple. When Je­sus saw the grave of his close friend Lazarus he was moved, he knew how that lovely home was suf­fer­ing.“Je­sus wept” (John 11.35).

Je­sus did not re­main in­dif­fer­ent when the dis­traught fa­ther of the epilep­tic boy begged for his heal­ing help.“I begged your dis­ci­ples but they could not help me.”“Lord I be­lieve, help me in my un­be­lief”(Mark 9.24). Do not imag­ine that Je­sus re­mained un­moved.

As the fa­ther yearned for the heal­ing of his sick son, Je­sus felt in­tensely the yearn­ing of his Fa­ther God for God’s sick and lost chil­dren.

Je­sus also knew how these lost chil­dren of men were to be re­stored.

The fa­ther’s plea“If you can”is an­swered by Je­sus’“Yes I can.”But the ef­fort cost Je­sus dearly. Je­sus told his dis­ci­ples:“This type of heal­ing is only ac­com­plished through deep spir­i­tual strug­gling and agony.”

That is the real mean­ing of Mark 9.29. Je­sus re­ally felt for peo­ple, and still does.

If only peo­ple to­day ex­pe­ri­enced that deep side to Je­sus of Nazareth.

Je­sus cares for peo­ple to­day. Je­sus is not far away in some church es­tab­lish­ment, but is rub­bing shoul­ders with you in bus and train, feel­ing for you in your homes and fam­i­lies, hopes and fears. Je­sus gave the peo­ple the Lord’s Prayer in their own lan­guage of Ara­maic.

Nowa­days, Je­sus gives us God’s Word in our lan­guage. Je­sus gives us God’s as­sis­tance through hu­man hands, Je­sus floods us with God’s grace and love through hu­man hearts.

This is the Je­sus Christ whom the peo­ple of Scot­land no longer recog­nise.

Je­sus still calls out:“Come unto me and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11.28).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.