Pity in the Right Place
“I pity the fool!”
B.A. Baracus, in the 1980s series The A Team, often used this line to refer to those who might get in his way. B.A. was a scary looking man played by Mr. T, and some claim that his initials stand for Bad Attitude. When B.A. came across someone whose actions he did not like, he would let them know that “I pity the fool!” I guess I would pity the person who ended up cross ways with B.A., because he was a scary, strong and intimidating man.
Unlike those on the receiving end of B.A.’s wrath, sometimes it is difficult to know who to pity. For instance, from time to time people speak of the hurt, injury and punishment Christ took on the cross. Movies like The Passion of the Christ show in detail the kind of punishment that Christ would have endured. Throughout those scenes of his beating and execution there is a sense – by the viewer – of pity for His awful condition.
At other times, Christians sing songs that call of the unfair and brutal treatment Christ received. In fact, many of these songs declare that it should have been us on that cross. In many of these songs there is a feeling of pity and sympathy for the Savior who took the blows, beatings and brunt of anger of the Roman guards.
With all of this pity and grief we sometimes feel for what Christ suffered, I am reminded of his own words spoken to a group of ladies observing his awful state and showing great pity. In Luke 23:27-31 we read,
“A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. (emphasis added is mind) For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
In summary, Jesus said, “You are feeling pity and sorrow for the wrong guy.” In that moment, as Jesus walked the Via Dolorosa (the way of suffering) He was just as omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, majestic, graceful, powerful and sovereign as He had always been. In that moment, had he chosen to, Jesus could have leveled the city, healed Himself and flattened the Roman soldiers. He chose not to, not out of pity for Himself, but out of a broken heart for the lost people who He would redeem.
You see, we highly overestimate our position when we feel pity for Jesus. In addition, when we spend a lot of time feeling sorry for the beaten and bruised Jesus, we are missing the point. It is not Him that needs grief, it is all of those who would reject Him as Savior. Those are the ones for whom the hearts of Christians should be breaking.
Christian, do not spend a lot of time conjuring up tears and pity for the Sovereign Creator and Master of the Universe.
Bow to Him.
Yield to Him.
But…do not pity Him. Instead, let us ask the King of Kings to place in us a deep pity and broken heart – not for Him – but for the lost around us who have not yet received and follow Him. Yes…Pity the Fool! But…let us be certain our pity is in the right place.