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There are several ways people can be wounded besides the obvious physical one. One’s pride could be wounded when critics point out the flaws in a person’s appearance or education. A good reputation might be besmirched by innuendos and lies. People have been deeply wounded by betrayal by a trusted friend or spouse. Loneliness, desertion, loss of a job and lots of other conditions can wound our self-image.

I recently had a discussion with a man who entered the Navy at age 17 and by 18 was serving in Viet Nam. He piloted PBR’s and Swift boats and had 4 of them shot out from under him. He was on a helicopter that crashed and had a rocket explode near him and was blown 50 feet away. He spent two weeks in a Navy hospital ship and was given 4 purple hearts during his 4 tours of duty. Out of the 363 gallant men who went out with him only 3 came home and he is now the lone survivor. He was unable to even talk about any of this until he was in his 70’s. Evidently his emo-tional wounds were almost as severe as the physical ones. He is a genuine hero who deserves our thanks and gratitude. Upon returning to civilian life, he was told not to wear his uniform due to the hate and slander directed at the heroes who had served with honor to protect the freedoms that  those clueless and pampered people were enjoying. No doubt they felt wounded all over again.

Our Lord Jesus was wounded in all the ways mentioned above plus many others that are beyond human comprehension (Isa 53:3-7)(Mt 27:27-31, 41-44, 46) (Jo 20:24-28). He was misunderstood, mocked, rejected and killed by those who should have known the prophecies about Him (Lk 24:44). He was betrayed by one of His chosen apostles(Mt 10:4, 14-16). ( Jo 6:70-71). We get just a small idea of Jesus’ emotional wounds as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-38) (Lk 22:44).

Anyone who loved Jesus and became His disciple also suffered physical and emotional wounds: His mother Mary, (Lk 2:34-35); His apostles, (Acts 5:17-18, 40); Stephen, (Acts 7:54-60) and those in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-3). Jesus foretold us that we would have troubles in this world (Jo 16:33) (Jo 15:20). Many martyrs over the centuries received the ultimate wound but accepted their death by remembering  Jesus’ words, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…” (Mt 10:28). We may never have to die for Christ, but we should be willing to sacrifice self and forgive those who wound us (Lk 9:23-25)( Lk 6:27,35).

-Jim Bailey


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