“He shall grow up before him as a tender plant.” (Is.
I love this verse. It comes from the messianic
prophecy of Isaiah and is speaking of Jesus. In this we see the deepest
thoughts of Jesus, tenderness. He had a tender heart, a possession He never
lost. That tender heart made Him uncontrollably compassionate. One day, while
walking to a place where He could help others, His and another group crossed
“And it came to pass the day after, that He went
into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much
Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city,
behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was
a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her,
and said unto her, Weep not.” (Lk. 7:11-13).
He couldn’t hold back the urge to help. “Don’t cry.”
“I’ll help.” The Law testifies of Him. He commanded, “Rejoice with them that do
rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (Rom. 12:15). Therefore, He rejoiced
with those who rejoiced and wept with those who wept. He couldn’t help Himself.
So, Jesus couldn’t hold His heart back; He had to help the widow of Nain. He had
compassion, He encouraged her, and now He would do what He could for her
sorrowful situation. “And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him
stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And
he delivered him to his mother.” (vs. 14,15).
This was only one thin slice of the life of Christ
during His ministry. But, during His whole life from the days of being a toddler the desire to bless others controlled Him. He told Abraham, “I will bless
thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2). What
does that say of Jesus? Jesus said, “The scriptures...are they which testify of Me.” (Jn. 5:39). If the scriptures testify of Him, then, He was a blessing.
His earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others.
For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into
His mind as He studied plant life and animal life.
Desire of Ages, p. 70.
His tender heart was the basis for the words and
actions of His life. Sometimes He sounded strong, even overbearing. But, that
is because He was being merciful to harsh, overbearing, proud men or women. He had
such a tender spirit toward His Father in heaven that when He saw people
hurting His Father, He had to say something to fix that problem.
“With the merciful Thou wilt shew Thyself merciful;
with an upright man Thou wilt shew Thyself upright;
With the pure Thou wilt shew Thyself pure; and with
the froward Thou wilt shew Thyself froward.
For Thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt
bring down high looks.” (Ps. 18:25-27).
All of His reproofs sprung from a heart very
sensitive to the needs of the transgressor and of His beloved Father, against
whom the transgression was made. Therefore, He was the perfect mediator between God and man. He also sought to shield the earthly victims
“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must
needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut
them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life
halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast
it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather
than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little
ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face
of My Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:7-10).
At the same time, “He took a child, and set him in
the midst of them: and when He had taken him in His arms, He said unto them,
Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My
name, receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him
that sent Me.” (Mk. 9:36,37)
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be
converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this
little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in My
name receiveth Me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones
which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his
neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Mat. 18:3-6).
Jesus had such tender regard for all who were
child-like, whether young or old. He had commanded Israel,
“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and
honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.
And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye
shall not vex him.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be
unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were
strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:32-34). Love was
the basis of the Law, and what does that say about the Lawgiver? Love was the
foundation of His soul. The scriptures testified of Him.
“Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy
salvation: and Thy right hand hath holden me up, and Thy gentleness hath made
me great.” (Ps. 18:35). David is saying that because of Jesus’ gentleness,
David copied His gentleness and thousands of people loved David and wanted to
serve him. Because of his Lord’s gentleness, David did great things. The last
become first by being gentle; by being gentle great things happen; by accepting the Lord’s
gentle Spirit, we awaken to new life, with all kinds of energy to serve others and be
gentle to them.
The gentleness of Christ is His righteousness.
Christ’s righteousness is Christ’s gentleness and tenderness. When we are
wearing the robe of His righteousness we won’t be stiff and hard-hearted; we’ll
be gentle and loving and tender-hearted.
did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He
exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse
with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never
gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He
spoke the truth, but always in love. He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and
iniquity; but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He
wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, which refused to receive Him, the way,
the truth, and the life. They had rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded
them with pitying tenderness. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful
care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore
Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with the tenderest regard to every member
of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to
save. Steps to Christ, p. 12.