9/8/11 Jeremiah 3-4, John 11
S: John 11:30 Jesus wept
O: Jesus' good friend Lazarus was sick, but when he was told of this, Jesus did not immediately go to Bethany to see him. Eventually, Lazarus died.
When Jesus got there, people said "Behold how he loved him! Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" (John 11:36-37)
Jesus, however, knew full well even before he returned to Judea that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:11).
So why is it Jesus wept? I used to wonder that as well. Then a few months ago, I was listening to reruns of Adventures in Odyssey and heard the episode where Connie and her friends were mourning the death of Mitch. Even though I had heard the episode before, I found tears coming to my eyes.
This was especially interesting because I knew Mitch was really not dead! The FBI had faked his death in order to protect him from the Novacom conspirators! I knew all this because I had listened to the whole Novacom saga before.
This helped me understand why Jesus wept even though he knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. His compassion and empathy for the sorrow of Mary and Martha brought him to tears.
A: Too often when a Christian friend dies, we say insensitive truths to his mourning loved ones like, "He is in a happier place now" etc. We need to learn to sit shiva with our grieving friends. The Biblical truths about the dearly departed are still true, but that's not the time to try to cheer up the grieving person.
P: Father, teach us wisdom how to be good emotional support to friends who are grieving and not to just offer platitudes. In Jesus' name, amen.