"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
"Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts."—Mark 3:5.
On this one occasion only is the expression used with
reference to Jesus—(what intensity of emotion does it denote, spoken of a
sinless nature!)—"He looked round on them with anger!" Never did He
grieve for Himself. His intensest sorrows were reserved for those who were
tampering with their own souls, and dishonoring His God. The continual
spectacle of moral evil, thrust on the gaze of spotless purity, made His
earthly history one consecutive history of grief, one perpetual "cross and
In the tears shed at the grave of Bethany, sympathy,
doubtless, for the world's myriad mourners, had its own share (the bereaved
could not part with so precious a tribute in their hours of sadness), but a
far more impressive cause was one undiscerned by the weeping sisters and
sorrowing crowd—His knowledge of the deep and obdurate impenitence of those
who were about to gaze on the mightiest of miracles, only to "despise, and
wonder, and perish." "Jesus wept!"—but His profoundest anguish was over
resisted grace, abused privileges, scorned mercy. It was the Divine Craftsman
mourning over His shattered handiwork—the Almighty Creator weeping over His
ruined world—God, the God-man, "grieving" over the Temple of the soul, a
humiliating wreck of what once was made "after His own image!"
Can we sympathize in any respect with such exalted tears?
Do we mourn for sin, our own sin—the deep insult which it inflicts on
God—the ruinous consequences it entails on ourselves? Do we grieve at sin in
others? Do we know anything of "vexing our souls," like righteous Lot,
"from day to day," with the world's "unlawful deeds,"—the stupid hardness and
obduracy of the depraved heart, which resists alike the appliances of wrath
and love, judgment and mercy? Ah! it is easy, in general terms, to condemn
vice, and to utter harsh, severe, and cutting denunciations on the guilty: it
is easy to pass uncharitable comments on the inconsistencies or follies of
others; but to "grieve" as our Lord did, is a different thing; to mourn
over the hardness of heart, and yet to have the burning desire to teach it
better things—to hate, as He did, the sin, but, like Him also, to love
Reader! look specially to your own spirit. In one respect,
the example of Jesus falls short of your case. He had no sin of His own to
mourn over. He could only commiserate others. Your intensest grief must
begin with yourself. Like the watchful Levite of old, be a guardian at
the temple-gates of your own soul. Whatever be your besetting iniquity, your
constitutional bias to sin, seek to guard it with wakeful vigilance. Grieve at
the thought of incurring one passing shadow of displeasure from so kind and
compassionate a Savior. Let this be a holy preservative in your every hour of
temptation, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"
Grieve for a perishing world—a groaning creation fettered
and chained in unwilling "subjection to vanity." Do what you can, by effort,
by prayer to hasten on the hour of jubilee when its ashy robes of sin and
sorrow shall be laid aside, and, attired in the "beauties of holiness," it
shall exult in "the glorious liberty of the sons of God!"