After my sermon on Job last Sunday, a member told me this joke. “Do you know why Job had such a bad time sleeping at night? It’s because he had such miserable comforters.”  Take a minute!

Job’s friends begin their dissertations on “Retribution Theology” in Chapter 4 and they run through most of the book. Their finger pointing and caustic remarks contribute even more to Job’s suffering. In his first reply to them, he addresses their lack of kindness and consideration at the time he needs it most.  He says, “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”

Like Job, when we suffer we don’t need a theological dissertation on God’s goodness, nor a rational explanation of our situation. No, we need comfort. We need kindness we need compassion and understanding. Once during Queen Victoria’s reign, she heard that the wife of a common laborer had lost her baby. Having experienced deep sorrow herself, she felt moved to express her sympathy. So she called on the bereaved woman one day and spent some time with her. After she left, the neighbors asked what the queen had said. “Nothing,” replied the grieving mother. “She simply put her hands on mine, and we silently wept together.”

Isaiah 40 begins “comfort, comfort ye, my people.” It is the prophetic proclamation regarding the coming of the Messiah who will do just that. Jesus never pointed his fingers at sinners; rather, he turned pointed fingers back on themselves. He never rejected the defiled, but touched and healed them. He fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind and sound to the deaf. He never turned away the hurting, but he comforted and restored them. He never condemns the sinner, he saves them.

Job dumped his pain on his friends in Chapter three. They responded with accusations and theological discussions. They could not personally identify with his suffering. They had not suffered like Job. But, Jesus is the one person who will never preach a theological treatise when we dump our hurt on him. Regardless of the reason for our suffering, he will open his arms wide, take your hand and weep with you. You see, Isaiah 53:3 describes Jesus for us who need a comforter in all our sufferings. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, well acquainted withgrief.”


“Job was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.” Job 1:1