One of the outstanding aspects of the Book of Jeremiah is the character of the prophet himself. Jeremiah embodied his prophecies for his fellow Jews to such an extent that it could be said that the man and the message were one.
As we read this Book, one of the themes that shines forth is the suffering sympathy of Jeremiah. “He did not merely speak for God: he felt with Him: and he did not merely speak to the people; he felt with them” (Baxter). For over 40 years, Jeremiah pled for his fellow Israelites to return to their covenant LORD in repentance and obedience (Jeremiah 11:1-13). But the people refused to heed Jeremiah’s words. Instead, they mocked the prophet and even tried to kill him at different times (Jer. 20:1,2; 26:7-9). In these ways, Jeremiah is a powerful type of Christ.
At different times, Jeremiah expressed sorrowful tears over the spiritual condition of God’s people. For example, in Jeremiah 9:1 we read these words: “Oh that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people”. “Certainly, no figure that moves before us anywhere in the Bible comes nearer to expressing the sorrowing, patient, gracious love of Christ over those He suffers to save than does Jeremiah” (Baxter) . In contemplating this weeping prophet one cannot but help think of Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and sorrowing over its inhabitants with the prophetic words of Luke 19:41-44.
One question we need to contemplate as we study Jeremiah is whether we have this same kind of burden and long-suffering heart for God’s people and God’s work. Jeremiah faithfully and humbly carried out his ministry for over 40 years. As far as we read in this prophetic book, there was very little positive response to this prophet’s message. Yet Jeremiah’s response can be characterized as gracious. He did not carry around a hurt and offended spirit lashing out at people. Instead, he absorbed the offenses and spoke the truth of God in love. He had a powerful redemptive ministry which still speaks today. In Christ’s love and service, Pastor John