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A friend once shared his experience on the birth of his first child. What stood out most for him was a mysterious combination of pain and joy.

His wife’s 22-hour labour was both painful and long. Moreover, he was shocked at the sight of so much blood. On the other hand, the intensity of the joy he felt when he saw his daughter for the first time was emblazoned into his mind. The whole birth was one terrifying, tear-filled paradox.

The same is true for Jesus. His whole life is one great paradox. A mixture of joy and suffering. The Gospel is filled with numerous accounts of Jesus healing and taking the pains of people away.

At the end of the Gospels however, we realize that Jesus’s mission is not to take away the sufferings of people but to take them upon Himself. Jesus served and did not come to be served (c.f. Mk 10:45).

Seen in this light, the miracles of Jesus aren’t ends in themselves. They are signs that point forward to the ultimate overthrowing of suffering and death during His passion, death, resurrection and final coming in glory.


Originally posted on Instagram.
Image: Pexels/PD-US

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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