Thursday, November 10, 2011

When Jesus Sees Us Weep

“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, 
and the Jews also weeping which came with her, 
He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled…” 
John 11:33 
(KJV)


Through the years, I have come to believe that pity/compassion is a big part of love.  
I don’t mean a condescending, “looking-down-our-noses-at” pity for someone else.  
I mean a deep empathy that runs through the inner heart….
such that moves and compels us to want to console and alleviate the pain of another,
no matter what it takes.  
Have you ever felt this?  
Perhaps for your child, your spouse, a parent, or someone else? 

Our Savior felt this kind of pity.
It was one of the driving forces of His earthly ministry.  
Matthew 9:36 (KJV) says, 
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”  
It didn’t say that Jesus only felt an inward pity, 
but His pity was so intense, that He was “MOVED with compassion".
He was compelled into action. 

The shortest verse in the whole Bible is found in John 11:35.  
Only two, little words….one five letters and one four..."Jesus wept".  
When I was a little girl, our Sunday School teacher used to have us 
memorize Bible verses in Sunday School, 
then go out and recite them in front of the congregation.  
We all wanted to use that verse, because it was the shortest and easiest to remember!  
It may be the shortest verse in the Bible, but to me, 
it is the most profound insight we have as to who Jesus really is.  
It lays His personality out before us like an open book. 

One of Jesus' closest earthly friends, Lazarus, had just died.  
He had been dead four days, by the time Jesus reached his home, 
and questions were circulating among Lazarus’ family members and loved ones.  
“Why didn’t Jesus come sooner?  
We called for Him.  
He knew Lazarus was sick.  
Didn’t He care?  
He could have saved His life.  
He could have healed him with one touch.  
Lazarus was one of His best friends.  
Why was He so silent…so absent in our grief?  
Why?  Why?  Why?” 
Their hearts were shattered, they were mourning, 
and they did not understand Jesus’ delay and lack of urgency.

But, listen to His reaction when, after He got there,
He saw Lazarus’ sister’s anguish and his loved ones weeping and mourning.  
“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, 
He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled…” 
John 11:33 
(KJV)

Their grief affected Jesus so deeply that
God in the flesh began to weep….right along with them.

What was the reason for His tears?  
He was not powerless to help this family.  
He had all power.  
He could...and can...do anything.  
So, why didn’t He go right to Lazarus’ grave and raise Him to new life the minute He arrived?  
Why did He stop to weep first?  
I’ll tell you why, dear friend.
He cried for the same reason His heart is touched when YOU cry.  

He cried because it hurt so much to see her cry.  

“When Jesus saw her weeping”….ah!  
When He saw her weeping….something inside of Him was stirred. 
He could not walk past her, without stopping to share her pain. 
Something about seeing her falling tears pained Him so deeply 
that He couldn’t stop the flow of His Own.  
He didn’t scold.  
He didn’t lecture.  
He didn’t ask, “where is your faith?”
  
He cried.  

The tears wrenched from the human heart of our Lord and Master 
were mingled with the tears of the bereaved. 

Oh, what a Savior!  
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; 
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  
Hebrews 4:15 
(KJV)  
Forgive me, if I “shout” here, but I cannot contain it!  
I have to pause and say, Praise God!  
He pities us, my friend!  
He feels what we feel. 

The other day, we were having family worship, 
and as Kevin was praying for Zachary, he broke down.  
He was unable to speak for several seconds.  
His heart was so moved with compassion for our child, that he couldn’t hold back his tears.  
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see a grown man cry, it always tears me up.  
But, to see my own husband cry?  
That takes it to a whole new level.  
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it really has an affect.  
“Like as a father pitieth His children, so pitieth the Lord them that fear Him.”  
Psalm 103:13
How blessed Zachary is to have a father who prays for him and pities him! 

And, you and I….how blessed we are to have a Heavenly Father Who pities us!  
Who sees every, single tear we cry.  
 Who not only sees them, but Who even keeps a record of them.  
Psalm 56:8 says, “Thou tellest my wanderings: 
put thou my tears into thy bottle: 
are they not in thy book?”  
If God has a bottle that contains our tears, He must notice every drop as it falls.
Even those silent tears that come unbidden, when no one is looking, 
when no one arounds seems to notice...or even care,
when loneliness overwhelms to the point of despair.

Dad died when I was about 11 ½ weeks along in my pregnancy with Zachary.  
I have never experienced such a bittersweet time.
We had barely had time to begin to anticipate Zachary’s birth when we lost one so dear to our hearts.  I remember feeling like I couldn’t go on…like I couldn’t bear the pain of losing Dad.  
So many questions were in my mind as to why God took him 
before he had the chance to see our baby,
especially since we had waited so long for a child of our own.  
My heart was so broken, and due to previous health complications, 
my pregnancy was already high risk.  
Everyone, out of concern and love for me and our unborn child, continually forbade me to cry.  
I had to do almost all of my weeping in private.  
Otherwise, I would hear continual remarks like, “Don’t cry, Cheryl.  You’ll hurt the baby.”  
Or “Your baby will cry if you do…it will be affected.  You can’t do this.”  
Kevin remembers the nights he heard me cry myself to sleep…
unhindered by the many comments of reproof I would hear throughout the day.  
I believe Jesus noticed every tear that hit my pillow.  
I believe He gathered every one of them in His nail-scarred hands, put them in His bottle, 
and recorded each one of them in His book.  
And I believe His heart was moved with compassion as He watched my heart break.

And just as He wept when He saw the weeping,
He wants us to feel and empathize with the pain and tears of others.

"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
Romans 12:15

How can we overlook the hurts, when we know how it feels to be wounded?
How can we turn our heads and ignore the grief, when we know how it feels to mourn?

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies,
and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
2 Corinthians 1:3

If we would be like Jesus, we must have a tender heart that is deeply touched
and moved with compassion, as His human heart was moved.

Do you weep in silence, out of sight, alone in your inward pain?  
Do the ones closest to you fail to notice?  
Friend, I want you to know that Jesus notices…He sees you weeping.  
Just like He saw Lazarus’ sister, Mary, weeping.  
With the same intensity that He pitied Mary, so He pities YOU.  
He is seated at the right hand of the throne of His Father, constantly interceding…
pleading for your relief.  
He is storing your tears in His bottle, because they are valuable to Him.  
No one else may ever understand you or what you are going through.  
He does…more than you will ever comprehend.  
And, He remembers how it feels to cry.  


10 comments:

  1. Thank you for your openess and honesty, Cheryl. You are one special lady. Those two little words carry such meaning and are a great comfort to me when I am grieving because my Lord and Saviour understands my pain and has compassion. He does not rebuke me for crying, as I'm sure he did not rebuke you as you grieved your father's death. God bless you xx

    Linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival

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    1. Thank you SO much for stopping by and for leaving sweet encouragement behind! It was so nice to "meet" you today. God bless you. :)

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  2. It is real compassion that moves our hearts that will bring answered prayer. Jesus was moved with compassion as he healed and ministered to many. A minister who has the gifts of healing, must also exhibit this same compassion as he calls for sinners to come to Jesus and then reaches out to heal the sick. I was touched when you mentioned Kevin's prayer over Zach, and his genuine tears. Perhaps he was given a glimpse of Zach's future and it brought him joy. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Yes, that touched me so deeply, too. I never thought of it that way, but maybe he did see Zach's future, and it filled him with joy. Thank you so much for reading and visiting and for all of your wonderful writing. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

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  3. Thank you so much, I desperately needed this.

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    1. Bless your dear heart. If you need to talk, I am here, and you can contact me through email. I will be praying for you. Much love to you, my friend. :)

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  4. For me, this concept of Jesus weeping makes Him more real...He was just like us in many ways. Now, He resides in heaven helping to guide our way, but when I think about how Jesus was a live person with real emotions, I'm more easily able to connect with Him.

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    1. YES, me, too...it makes Him seem so much more approachable and on our level. This is a great point. So thankful for your visit, Laura. God bless you. :)

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  5. Thanks for this truth. It's been a hard week and I appreciate this reminder. He catches EVERY one of our tears. He might not change our situation, but He will be there to comfort us!

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    1. YES, praise His name, He is always there with us...He never promised us it would be easy, but He promised that He would never leave us alone. I am so thankful to know that! I am so sorry you have had a hard week. I am praying for you, dear friend. Keep looking up! Much love to you. :)

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