Monday Manna "Jesus Wept"

This week, I've decided to participate in a wonderful meme that is posted every first and third Mondays of the month, "Monday Manna", hosted by Joanne's Open Book . A Scripture verse is chosen the previous week and each participant posts a devotional about it. This week's verse is -

John 11:35 "Jesus wept"

Most Sunday School students know this verse as the shortest one in the Bible, but I wonder how many know when Jesus cried and why.

Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha and good friend of Jesus, plus a respected leader in the Jewish community, had fallen ill. His sisters sent word to Jesus to come and heal their brother, but Jesus delayed his response. By the time he reached the village of Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Neighbors had gathered, wailing and mourning in sympathy and respect.

Both Mary and Martha showed their disappointment that Jesus hadn't returned earlier. They knew He was the Son of God and His power to heal. Why hadn't He done this for his friend? They felt that He had let them down. Jesus' explanation was,

"I am the resurrection and the life,
he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live:
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

Jesus wanted them to see that He was the Almighty God, the Creator and Giver of life itself. He had the power to give them eternal life. He wanted them to see that there was more than this life, with its sins and sicknesses. He had so much to offer them, and they couldn't see it. He had eternal life to offer then.

As he looked around at the crowds wailing in grief over Lazarus' death, he grieved over their blindness and lost condition. He was God, standing right before them, and they couldn't really see Him! He loved them. He loved all mankind, and knew that didn't know Him and soon would turn away from completely, forgetting the miracles and His words.

That's why He wept.

I attended the funeral of a relative. I had tears, mostly because I didn't think the young man had taken God's gift of eternal life. But, it was as I looked at his family sobbing loudly that I felt a strong compassion for them. They were as dead as their brother. They had no hope, no real life, for they had turned away from the Giver of Life. It was then that I understood why Jesus wept.

Lord, do You weep when I ignore Your power and only look at the temporal things? Do You grieve when I forget how You have provided and protected in the past? Does it sadden You when I grumble because You did things differently than I thought You should have done it. Lord, teach me to see You and trust You and obey You. Amen


Joanne Sher said...

"Those who weep as if they have no hope" - and there is hope personified standing before them! Thanks for participating, dear Vonnie, and for these words of conviction and comfort.

Betsy Markman said...

It's so hard to know what to say or do at the funeral of a lost soul, isn't it?

It's also impossible to explain the joy and peace at the funeral of a child of God, especially if the mourners know Him, too.

He makes all the difference!

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

I hadn't thought about the verse in the context of attending an unbeliever's funeral. It it an apt and helpful analogy.

Slowly Dying.. said...

Oh WOW! I thought Jesus cried because He was grieving with the other people! Thank you!



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