Jesus’ tears

Jesus wept. (John 11:35 KJV)

When Jesus heard that His friend Lazarus had died He made His way to Bethany, where Lazarus had lived.   He told the disciples that Lazarus was sleeping and He must go wake him. The disciples thought Jesus meant literally asleep, but Jesus quickly, and plainly, corrected that notion. In verse 14 Jesus said to them, “Lazarus is dead.” The placing of the words, “Jesus wept” might let the reader believe that He was weeping over Lazarus. While this might be part of the reason, I don’t think it was the primary source of Jesus’ grief. He knew, long before He arrived in Bethany that His friend had died. (Verse 14) He also knew that Lazarus was soon to be raised. Death, I don’t think caused the Savior to weep.

Then what did? I think that Jesus saw the unbelief in those around Him, particularly in Mary, and it hurt Him. Martha had just said the same thing to Him a few moments before, so it was pretty obvious that they had been sitting around talking about this.

This was the Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil and her tears. She was a devoted follower. Yet her first reaction when seeing Jesus was to complain that He was too late to save her brother! Our unbelief hurts the Master. We call ourselves His followers, we call Him Lord, Savior, Master and King, but when trials hit us what do we do? We complain that He didn’t stop the hard time before it happened. Jesus had a purpose in allowing Lazarus to die. It was a Divine purpose that brought souls into the Kingdom and glory to the Father. Mary didn’t know this, but she knew Jesus.

We know Jesus and what He can do. We also know that God’s glory is the overriding purpose in all that He does. When we allow ourselves to be placed into that purpose we will live with an incredible joy, despite the situation we are in. Don’t be a Mary and Martha. Don’t complain, “If only you had been here sooner.” Be thankful and live in His joy.

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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