Jesus Wept

January 13, 2015

John 11:32-40
When Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she dropped down at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
33When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who came with her [also] sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. [He chafed in spirit and sighed and was disturbed.]
34And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see.
35Jesus wept.
36The Jews said, See how [tenderly] He loved him! 37But some of them said, Could not He Who opened a blind man’s eyes have prevented this man from dying?
38Now Jesus, again sighing repeatedly and deeply disquieted, approached the tomb. It was a cave (a hole in the rock), and a boulder lay against [the entrance to close] it. 39Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of the dead man, exclaimed, But Lord, by this time he [is decaying and] throws off an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days! 40Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?

Jesus Wept

As the Lord dropped this scripture into my heart I came to it trying to understand the heart of Jesus in this moment. Mary, Martha and Lazarus were no doubt some Jesus’ closest and dearest friends. They acknowledged and received Him for who He was as Lord and Christ, but now the revelation of that knowledge is tested through the sickness and death of Lazarus.
“Jesus wept” is the shortest verse in the bible, but it can make a strong statement if we seek to understand the heart of Jesus in this moment. Jesus is not weeping because he is sad for Mary or Martha or because He is mourning the loss of Lazarus. Jesus saw the grief and sobbing in Mary and Martha. Then he hears from Mary in an almost mournful rebuke, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Perhaps Jesus is thinking, “What are you saying Mary, because I didn’t come in your time and in the way that you thought that I should that I failed you?” I believe it was these loved one’s disappointment in Him that grieved Him so. In their grief they were saying, “Jesus, you failed us. You didn’t come through. You didn’t show up in time.” This disappointment communicated through Martha, Mary and even the mourners that were with them greatly disturbed and disquieted the spirit of Jesus. I believe that this truly hurt the heart of the Lord that they had these scruples and doubts about His love and faithfulness to them. There was such a tremendous upheaval in the spirit of Jesus that He groaned and wept. This was a very disturbing moment of Jesus. He already knew that Lazarus, though he had been dead for four days, was a good as alive, but to see the disappointment and the feelings of His failure in the hearts of those who loved Him the most was tremendously hurtful and troubling.
What it shows us is that we have a box of our own human reasoning and understanding. We so often want to put Jesus in that same box. When He doesn’t fit within our boxes we can often become offended with Jesus and feel that He has somehow failed us. In our grief and disappointments we sometimes want to blame Him and hold Him responsible because we feel that He failed us. We often carry those hurts and they create a breach in our faith and trust in the Lord. Sometimes it causes us to turn from Him altogether. We can see here how this grieves the heart of the Holy Spirit. We must learn to trust Him and count Him faithful even in what we don’t know and fully understand. We must know that His love for us is so much greater. If Jesus had showed up sooner and healed Lazarus, He would have still been known as only the healer. This is a time and place where Jesus is going to manifest an even greater dimension of Himself as the resurrection and the life. There is a power in Christ that is even greater than death. Even death has to bow to His power and authority.
When Jesus commands the stone to be rolled away from the tomb, Martha speaks out of her natural thinking as she says, “But Lord, by this time he is decaying and stinking, for he has been dead for four days.” Natural reasoning often speaks out of doubt and unbelief. Jesus replies to her, “Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God.” What a powerful statement this is, to her and to us. When we deny him through unbelief, we are denying ourselves of His manifest glory. The glory of God is beyond our comprehension and so far beyond our limitations.
The Lord would say to us, trust me even when you don’t understand me, even when I haven’t come through the way you thought I should. Do not murmur against me in unbelief and doubt. Trust me, for I will do what I have promised even in ways that you do not understand.

Blessings,
#kent

Advertisements

Why did Jesus Weep?

December 11, 2012

John 11:35
Jesus wept

Why did Jesus Weep?

Well before we can answer that question we need some background about what has taken place. We need to read John 11 to get the context of what has taken place. Briefly we will summarize, but there is so much here I fear we do an injustice in doing so. Many of you are familiar with the story that Larazus, the brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany, had fallen sick. They were all close friends with Jesus. Mary and Martha had sent a messenger to Jesus saying, “Lord, him you love (so well) is sick.” When he says sick, he is not talking a head cold, he is talking as in sick unto death. Jesus then says, “This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it.” So even though is it says Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus dearly, he staid where He was for two more days before traveling to Bethany. Now Jesus finally tells His disciples plainly that Lazarus is dead, but then He says this, “And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you to believe (to trust and rely on Me). However, let us go to him.” When He gets there He finds a mournful scene as Lazarus has died and He meets up with Martha who has heard He is coming.
Now you can imagine the feelings that Mary, Martha and the rest are going through. They know who Jesus is as the Messiah, they know He has the power to heal and yet even when they called upon the one who says He loves them, He didn’t show up. In their hearts and minds they are hurt, disappointed, maybe even angry. Jesus, you didn’t answer my prayer. Perhaps there have been times when we have been in that place of Mary and Martha. We know and love the Lord, but at some crisis or need we prayed, but He didn’t come through for us as we thought He could have and should have. We have thought, “Lord, if you had only showed up I know the need would have been met.”
Martha converses with Jesus saying, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You.
23Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again.
24Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; 26And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this?
27She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed [I do believe] that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of God, [even He] Who was to come into the world. [It is for Your coming that the world has waited.]” Martha has a revelation of who Christ is. She knows Him as the Savior and she knows Him as the Healer, but she doesn’t really yet know Him as the Resurrection and the Life. Sometimes for a new revelation to come forth, the former one has to pass away. We have to let go of old paradigms and understandings in order to grasp a greater revelation of the unveiling of Christ. Jesus is speaking to her of this, but she does not fully comprehend it yet.
Martha goes to let Mary know Jesus is here and she comes running to him, followed by the group that have been mourning with them. It says in verses 32-38, “When Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she dropped down at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
33When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who came with her [also] sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. [He chafed in spirit and sighed and was disturbed.] 34And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see.
35Jesus wept.
36The Jews said, See how [tenderly] He loved him! 37But some of them said, Could not He Who opened a blind man’s eyes have prevented this man from dying?
38Now Jesus, again sighing repeatedly and deeply disquieted, approached the tomb. It was a cave (a hole in the rock), and a boulder lay against [the entrance to close] it.” I believe Jesus really felt and had empathy with their sorrow and pain, but I think that it also grieved Him that they could not see beyond their disappointment and they still doubted Him. It reminds me of the times Jesus would say, “ Oh faithless generation, how long must I endure you?” Jesus wept because of their sorrow, but He also wept because of their doubt and unbelief.
If we really believe Romans 8:28, that, “all thing work for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose,” then we have to be able to rest and trust Jesus even when we don’t understand why things happen as they do. Sometimes it is those crisis moments that create significant life changing events. They challenge our faith and belief system. They stretch us beyond our ability to explain and rationalize what has happened. Then we are faced with, “do I get angry and turn from Him, or do I trust Him.” Trust isn’t based in understanding; on the contrary, it is often trusting in what you don’t understand.
Jesus then had them roll back the stone where Lararus was buried for four days. He looked to heaven and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger].” And then He shouted, “Lazarus, Come forth.”
“44And out walked the man who had been dead, his hands and feet wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] napkin bound around his face. Jesus said to them, Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go.
45Upon seeing what Jesus had done, many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Him.”
The Lord is taking us from glory to glory. He is resurrecting us into a new mind and way of thinking. He is loosing us from our formal burial cloth of religious thinking and ideology. He is raising us up into newness of life.
On this journey we sometime must relinquish the old so that we can embrace the new. The worse thing we can do is to believe things are as they have always been. This is what religion does. It builds its city on a truth, but becomes so cemented in it that it can never move on in the continual unfolding of the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Some of you need a spiritual healing where there has been disappointment, hurt and maybe even anger against God. God still loves you more than you can know. Even when you don’t understand His hand, trust His heart. Sometimes it is these seeming failures that really lead us into the greater glory, even as it was with Mary and Martha. Hold fast you faith. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Blessings,
kent

%d bloggers like this: