For those of you who may have noticed, I didn’t write a blog last week. But here is one for this week. My plan is to try and write one a week but at times other things take priority, but today, this week here is a blog, I hope that it blesses you and encourages you.
Have you ever cried? I now I have, i have been known to be a ‘messy crier’, you know the one where tears runs in a stream, the nose starts to run everywhere and then trying to speak…. let’s leave that image. Have you ever been so overwhelmed that to cry was the only response you could give, anything else would be a denial of your feelings?
Did you know that Jesus cried? In John 11:35 we find the shortest verse in the bible, it simply reads ‘Jesus wept’. Let’s take a look at this short verse and see what it teaches us about Jesus, and about ourselves. But first a little background so we can see the context in which this verse occurs.
At the beginning of chapter 11 of Johns gospel we find a man named Lazarus, who lived in Bethany (Bethany means house of welcome), had become ill, Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, this Mary was the Mary that anointed Jesus feet and wiped His feet with her hair, (see John 12). This is also the Mary and Martha that Jesus went to see and Martha got a little cross that Mary wasn’t helping her serve the guests (see Luke 10:38-42). The sisters sent someone to tell Jesus that his friend (or mate as we say here in Australia), is sick. Jesus replies that his illness will not lead to death (verse 4), so Jesus decides not to go right away, he waited for two days before he left from where he was to go to Bethany. But we find in verse 14 that Jesus mentions that Lazarus has die. Hang on, didn’t he just say that Lazarus was not going to die? Actually no he said that the illness that Lazarus had would not lead to death, not that he would not die.
If you would like an explanation of this see https://www.versebyverseministry.org/bible-answers/explaining-lazarus-death.
After reaching Bethany Jesus learns that Lazarus has died and had been in the tomb for four days, Bethany is about 3.2 kms away from Jerusalem, as he approached Bethany Martha went out to meet him. Jesus had a short discourse with Martha, Martha went and got Mary. As Mary got up to meet Jesus those who were mourning went with her. Now we come to the point. When Jesus saw Mary and the others with he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled, verse 33. He asked to see the place where Lazarus was placed, and then Jesus wept.
We can see from this encounter that Jesus had a deep friendship for Lazarus and his two sisters, it was not just a mere acquaintance, or someone he knew. It was a deep friendship with them. This is evidence by the way that they told Jesus about Lazarus in verse 3, ‘So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ He was someone who Jesus loved. He was so moved by the love he had for Lazarus and His sisters that he mourned with them. They were tears borne from empathy and sadness, even though Jesus knew that He was going to raise him to life.
What do we learn from this encounter? We learn that it’s okay to show emotion. It seems that some believers think that any show of emotion is wrong, or even of the devil. God gave us emotions, when God created us He created us to be able to feel sadness, joy, grief, anger, happiness etc. Sometimes the way we handle our emotions is wrong, but they are not wrong of themselves. We learn also that we need to show empathy to those around us in the midst of their sadness and trails. If we can’t empathise with them it shows and uncaring person, it shows that what we say we believe is just words rather than actions. We learn that to open ourselves to others is part of the Great commandment, ‘to love others as ourselves’ Matthew 22:37-39. As believers, let us not hide behind an iron curtain where we hide our emotions, let’s be real, let us learn how to handle our emotions in a biblical way that shows Christ.
If you have any comments, or a topic you would like me to discuss please leave a comment in the comment section, I do like feedback so please use that if you wish, but until next time be blessed as you serve our mighty Saviour.
In Christ our redeemer Ps Jeff