Jesus: A Model of Vulnerability
I believe one of the things Jesus came to Earth to do was to model vulnerability for us. If you take a look at Jesus through this lens, you start to see his life from a different perspective:
- He didn’t have a home to call His own (Luke 9:58).
- He told His disciples that in order to be a leader they needed to be servants and slaves (Matthew 20:26-27, Mark 10:43-44). Those are very vulnerable positions.
- He allowed a woman to wet his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair (Luke 7:36-50). That’s quite the intimate act on the part of the woman but allowing someone to do that to you involves intimacy and vulnerability, too. The Pharisee who was hosting Jesus was upset that Jesus was letting this happen and I wonder if part of the reason was because he felt too uncomfortably vulnerable being witness to this.
- Jesus wept, more than once. He wept for Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) and he wept at Lazarus’ tomb (John 11:35).
Then Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). He took off his robe, wore a towel around his waist, and washed the disciples’ feet. How vulnerable is that?! On top of that, he told the disciples that he was setting an example for them to follow in doing this. I believe not only was He telling them to serve others but to be vulnerable in the serving.
And finally, there was the crucifixion. Jesus allowed Himself to be mocked, stripped and beaten. He allowed men to torture him by hanging him on a cross, naked and exposed for all to see. I can’t think of anything more vulnerable than that. To me, His sacrifice is that much more beautiful in the vulnerability of it. He didn’t hold anything back from us, but was completely naked before us. So great and true is His love for us.