A God Who Weeps
Sustaining God, I praise You for creating friends who share my gladness, pain, and hope on each and every day.
Read John 11:28-44
 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”  When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.  When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.  When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.  Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”  Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”  So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”  When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat was the lament of both Martha (21) and Mary (32)?
The Greeks thought that God could not feel emotion–they called this apatheia. Jesus proves them wrong. Here’s one of the most poignant verses of the New Testament: “Jesus wept” (35). Jewish men had not been brought up to keep a stiff upper lip. Confronted with the death of his friend, Jesus wept–probably mourning his own loss, as well as empathizing with Martha and Mary. But was that all? Twice John records that Jesus was “deeply moved” (33,38) or “greatly disturbed” (NRSV). The Greek word used is a word which describes a horse snorting–an expression of indignation or anger. John seems to suggest that Jesus was in the grip of such deep emotion that an involuntary groan was wrung from the very core of his being. Underlying Jesus’ tears is not mere grief, but righteous anger over the suffering, destruction and death that plague the world because of sin. The raising of Lazarus is Jesus’ outraged onslaught against death, that “last enemy to be destroyed” (1 Cor. 15:26). Jesus wept over the things that hurt humanity; he grieved even more intensely over the things that grieved God.
List five things most likely to make you weep. List five things you think grieve God the most. Compare your lists.
Lord Jesus, how relieved I am to know that You grieved over the loss of Your friend. It draws me even closer to You.
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