- Matthew 9:36 (NKJV) But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
There are some that teach that God has no emotions (impassibility). After all, how can God, who knows all (omniscient) and who is completely self-sufficient (aseity) and unchanging (immutable) have emotions?
God knew who was going to win every gold medal before the Olympics even began. He knows who will win the Super Bowl next year and he knows what IBM will close at on July 19, 2014. (Actually the Markets aren’t open that day; it’s a Saturday—I was just checking to see if you were still with me!).
The point is this: Is God an aloof, distant, motionless and passionless Being looming over human history in power and might or is He actively involved both in the stands cheering us on with passionate fatherly pride and also on the field getting down and dirty with us as we duke it out in this sinful world?
A couple examples come to mind…
First, I’m a big fan of the Lord of the Rings series. I’ve read the series dozens of times. I’ve watched the movies (extended versions) several times. Keep in mind, I seldom watch movies. In other words, I really like the Lord of the Rings—I’d have to to sit through hours of extended movie viewing.
Yet each time I read the books or watch the movies my emotions are moved—sometimes deeply. I know what is going to happen—it is as predictable as the printed page. Yet there are parts in the series that move me deeply each time I read them (or watch them). Matter of fact, they move be because I do know them so well.
Let me give you another example. On most Sundays I am in my pulpit at Fort Mill Church of God preaching a message that I know like the back of my hand. Usually, I’ve walked with a particular message for several weeks, sometimes months. Except for a few minor adjustments that I may make as I’m preaching (I am a Pentecostal preacher after all 🙂 ) I know exactly what I’m going to say. To make matters worse, I preach the same sermon twice each Sunday. In other words, I not only know what I’m going to say, but in the second service I’m preaching a sermon that I’ve already heard myself preach!
Yet without exception, I am passionate about the message both times that I preach it. Why? Because I care deeply for the people I am preaching to. My passion is not based on my knowledge or personal existence, my passion is based on my love for the people I serve.
In the same way (but at a much higher level) I’ve got to believe that our all-knowing, all-sufficient God who is transcendent to time and space, is also able to exist in the moment—being moved by our struggles and victories; by our tears and laughter. Why? Because He loves us; He loves us with the deep passionate love of a perfect Father.
That brings me great comfort and joy and I hope it does the same for you.