No Crying He Makes? Re-examining Perfection

Verse 3 in “Away in a Manger”:

Do you really believe the infant Jesus never cried?

Do you really believe the infant Jesus never cried?

The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes

Does anyone seriously believe that the baby Jesus never cried?  I mean the first thing every new parent wants to hear is a crying baby emerging from the womb.  It indicates health.  Setting that aside, I’m sure Jesus cried, like every infant does, when he was hungry and needed food.  For that matter, if Jesus was human, didn’t he fall and skin his knee as a toddler.  Did he cry then?

You may say this is artistic license, and perhaps it is, but I do think we have a warped sense of the perfection of Jesus.  He could be rude:

  • Matthew 15:27 “But Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”  (Was he seriously comparing a Canaanite woman to a dog.  I don’t care what interpretation you have, that was rude.)
  • Luke 23:9 “Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.”  (Was he exercising his constitutional right to remain silent?  Oh yeah, there was no constitution back then.)
  • Matthew 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”  (You’re going to tell me that Jesus can say anything he wants, but I thought He was the Perfect example of Humility.  This is not humble, even if it is true.  If you can’t say something nice, use TOUGH LOVE!)

Jesus is often set up as an example of meekness, but when he threw the money changers out of the temple, that didn’t sound very meek to me.  Jesus lost his temper.  I had someone argue that Jesus wasn’t angry, but it sure seems like a Bobby Knight temper tantrum to me.

If we believe Jesus was truly sinless and did no wrong, don’t we need to re-define Jesus in a way so that we don’t claim he didn’t cry, wasn’t rude, wasn’t angry?

2 comments on “No Crying He Makes? Re-examining Perfection

  1. Don’t know about his birth cries but also don’t recall that “Away in a Manger” being doctrinal. but we know that Jesus did cry (Jesus wept. John 11:35) if the Bible translation is correct.
    And he had just just finished calling the Pharisees hypocrites before his conversation with the Caananite woman. He did not mince words, did he? Why was not the Caananite woman offended?
    And of a truth, Jesus could become angry.
    Looks like we are in pretty complete agreement for once.


  2. The though that Jesus didn’t cry as a baby has been an amusing one to me and my wife since we started having our own children ( We are up to 5). Babies communicate with adults by crying! I assumed this was poetic license by the writer of the lyrics and we just chuckled to ourselves whenever we heard this Christmas song. I gained a new insight recently while reading the the Koran for my own personal learning. I looked up an item I had a question about and found myself reading an article about the many mentions of Jesus in the Koran. In one of the article I read there was a teaching from Muhammad concerning that no crying concept. It basically says that all children born into this fallen world are touched by Satan at birth so they cry. The Christ child being unspoiled when he was born was not touched by Satan at birth and therefore didn’t cry! Do we have an Islamic teaching in one of the most loved Christmas hymns?

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