Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Jesus weeps

John 11:17-37…

The disciples had been perplexed as to the slow pace of Jesus, considering the grave nature of Lazarus’ condition. They had also worried for Jesus’ safety, considering the Jews would be after Him if He were to go there. Jesus had informed them of His plan, but they thought this meant they were just supposed to resign themselves to pessimistic courage (John 11:16).

Mary, Martha, and a crowd of well-wishers and fellow weepers was also perplexed “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus explains to Martha what will happen, she thinks Jesus means in the future, not that Lazarus will be raised from the grave now. She does indeed understand who Jesus really is, but not what Jesus is really about to do. She believed in God’s power for the future, but doubted His power for the moment.

When Jesus saw Mary and the rest of the crowd weeping, He was troubled. He knew that Mary’s tears were genuine, but He also knew some of the crowd was only crying along in conformity with custom. Most were weeping because of grief about Lazarus and Mary’s sorrow. Mary was also weeping because she knew Jesus “could have done something”. He was about to. 

Jesus wept. That is to say, Jesus had a sorrowful sympathy and also a righteous indignation about it. He had genuine compassion but was groaning under the weight of sinful man. He had feelings. Think about that. The transcendent, impassible, impeccable God has taken on humanity and could now feel our pain (Hebrews 4:15). He wept for Lazarus, and also for all the calamity, chaos, confusion, and corruption that sin causes (cf. Luke 19:41 / Hebrews 5:7).

Some remarked upon Jesus’ love for Lazarus, while others became bewildered as to why Jesus hadn’t arrived earlier. What no one yet understood was that His weeping was a prelude to His acting. Jesus knew what the outcome of the event would be. But that didn’t stop Him from entering into the sorrow and suffering of His loved ones.

We are supposed to laugh with the laughing, and weep with the weeping (Romans 12:15). This does not make us actors, but active. If you want to be like Jesus, you’ll have to enter into the intensity of intercession. And weep.

1 comment:

Even So... said...

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