Jesus Our Example

Jesus wept – John 11:35

This verse is famous for being the shortest verse in the Bible. But it deserves our attention for reasons much more significant than that. What a scene! The eternal, unchanging, immovable God-in-the-flesh Jesus, weeping in front of the tomb of a friend.

How mysterious a scene this is. And yet there are some clear implications, embedded in the context of the verse, from which we can learn valuable lessons. First, Jesus was not weeping because of despair at the death of Lazarus his friend. He had already told his disciples that this death had been allowed in order to provide an occasion for their faith to be strengthened (11:15). Moments after weeping, Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead.

Secondly, Jesus was weeping because he saw the deep grief of those around him and was deeply moved by compassion for them (11:33). Even though he knew that he was about to bring Lazarus back from the dead, Jesus was still affected by the sorrow that others were experiencing.

What about you? When you have lost a loved one, or seen your fondest hopes or projects fall dead at your feet, do you despair or do you see it, like Jesus did, as an occasion for faith to be strengthened? Does it cause you to lose hope or to place your hope in the strength and wisdom of God?

On the other hand when you see others experiencing deep grief, does it move you at all? Even if it does not directly affect your life, are you compassionate toward those whose lives are shattered by sin or sorrow? Do you weep with those who are weeping around you, bearing their burden empathetically and prayerfully with them?

May this day find you walking in the faith, and in the sympathy, of our beloved friend Jesus Christ, who is still touched by the sorrows of his people and who is still able to speak life to the dead.