Jesus Wept (John 11:35)
Story set up:
– A man named Lazarus is sick and on the verge of death. His sisters contacts Jesus “emergency”.
– Martha told Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” (The bible says, “Jesus loved Martha, Mary her sister, and Lazarus her brother.”)
– Jesus told them, “Don’t worry, this will not end in death.”
– Jesus waited 2 days before he came to them.
– Jesus is going back to the town that “just now tried to stone him”! But he is willing to accept the risk to help his friend.
– By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had already been buried for 4 days.
– (read) John 11:32-37 (HCSB)
– Jesus DID raise Lazarus from the dead, it was not too late. This did not “end in death”.
– Why did Jesus cry?
– Some scholars believed that Jesus was upset and angry by the disbelief of the people. (Really?)
– Jesus said that this would not end in death, but Lazarus DID die, so what are the people supposed to think? What would YOU think? (Just leave the stinky dead body in the house???)
– If anything, they were confused and misunderstood what Jesus meant, but so did everybody. Was Jesus angry at everyone all the time? No. Of course not.
– Why would Jesus cry over Lazarus? He knew he was going to raise him from the dead.
– Verse 33 says, “When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.”
– The Amplified Bible reads, “He was deeply moved in the spirit, to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death; and was troubled.”
– The ASV, KJV, and NKJV all say, “He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.”
– Meaning: He was moved with indignation; anger and annoyance by what is perceived as unfair treatment.
– One of Jesus’ friends just died! Someone that he loved. Anger is a step in the grieving process.
Quick Recap of where we are at:
– Jesus enters into harm’s way, to a town that wants to kill him. His friend is dead, the family is crying and upset, they are blaming him now, and no one understands what he is trying to do.
– Death is sad. Jesus understands because he is a man. He showed compassion for them.
- Jesus identifies with our humanity.
– Hebrews 2:14a, (NLT) “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood…”
– Hebrews 2:17a-18, (NLT) “Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters… Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.”
– 100% man, 100% God, at the same time.
– Jesus shows his kinship with us, in that he understands our emotional pain and trauma.
– It’s okay to cry, and be angry with the situation, have questions, and not understand.
– Jesus know what you are going through, and cares about your situation.
– Jesus knew that Lazarus would live, and that God would be glorified because of it.
– I don’t think that makes him immune to the human emotions of the moment.
- Jesus was a man of compassion.
– Compassion is: “The sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes or others.”
– In Matthew chapter 20, there were 2 blind men on the road where Jesus was passing by. They cried out to Jesus for mercy, and to be healed.
– Matt 20:34, (HCSB) “Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed Him.”
– Mark 8:1-2, (HCSB) “In those days there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. He summoned the disciples and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with me three days and have nothing to eat.”
– Matt 14:14, (HCSB) “As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.”
– Luke 7:13, (NLT) (While passing by the funeral procession of a widow’s son.) “When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said.”(Jesus raised him from the dead.)
– Luke 19:41, (HCSB) (As Jesus rode into Jerusalem for the last time, he thought of all those lost souls who didn’t believe his message.) “As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it.”
– Jesus cried with compassion for the hurting, and he healed them gave them life.
– He also wept with compassion for the lost sinners.
– He was here to save them from their sins, but he knew he couldn’t save them all
– It’s like a rescuer throws out a life ring to a drowning person, but they won’t grab it.
– You have free will and have to choose Jesus.
- Jesus knows what it’s like to walk in OUR shoes, but we don’t know what it’s like to walk in HIS.
– Jesus has shown himself faithful, and always comes to the rescue, but they still question his ways.
– Jesus only waited 2 days before coming, but Lazarus had been dead for 4 days.
– Even if Jesus had dropped everything and come immediately, he’d still been dead for 2 days.
– Still Mary says to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
– They didn’t understand Jesus’ plan, so they questioned his actions.
– Jesus had shared his plan, “Lazarus will live and God will get the glory.”
– But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
– We don’t always know why our Savior does what he does, but we should always know that HE knows why He does it. Trust Jesus!
– Those who care for us must remember to care for themselves too.
– Jesus had to set boundaries in his life, and do “self-care”.
– He needed private time for prayer, and to decompress, to not get overwhelmed. (Example!)
– Mark 1:35, (HCSB) (After healing everyone in town the day before) “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.”
– Luke 5:15-16, (HCSB) “But the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”
– Matt 14:13, (HCSB) (Jesus just found out that John the Baptist had been murdered in prison) “When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed Him on foot from the towns.”
– The crowd didn’t care what trauma Jesus had just experienced. They need their hero!
– Jesus needed to be alone, but still showed compassion on them and healed them.
– Matt 14:23, (HCSB) “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.”
– The people have shown that they will take everything that he has, and then ask for more.
– Example: Pastors take Mondays off, Crisis does not. But if the caregivers get burned out, who then will provide the care?
– They shouldn’t feel guilty about setting limits so that they don’t burn out from taking on our emotional burdens.
– The rest of us need to look for that opportunity to step in and shoulder the load.
– Sometimes even the “Rescuer” needs “rescuing”.
– In Luke chapter 22, Jesus was on the verge of dying a brutal and painful death on the cross. He brought some of his disciples with him to be alone and pray. He told them to pray and contended for him. He needed their support! Then Jesus withdrew further on his own:
– Luke 22:44-45, “Being in anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When He got up from prayer and came to the disciples, He found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief.”
– Jesus’ humanity had reach a point of saturation. He is in emotional crisis. Where is HIS support?
– His disciples are also burned out and exhausted emotionally. Where is THEIR support?
– Jesus took on the weight of the entire world on his way to rescue us at the cross. That must have been the “100% God” part of him.
– The disciples were so fatigued from carrying the load that they couldn’t even obey the Lord.
– It’s easy to condemn them, and call them weak because they failed.
– We like adding “what they should have done”, but we’ve never dealt with anything like that.
– What they needed was other believers to come alongside them and help them carry the load!
– Compassion Fatigue: “The emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events.” This builds up over time, and leads to emotional burn-out. (It can sneak up on the strongest of men, like two I know.)
– Your pastors are at risk!
– All the lost loved ones, broken marriages, struggles with addiction, car accidents, hospital visits, lost jobs and homes, child abuse, etc…
– Your pastors “own” the emotional weight, and share the pain right along with you.
– We can support them by letting them have time away, sharing the emotional ministry load, and pouring love back into their cup.
– We need to be on the lookout to support and show compassion to those who spend their lives showing compassion to others.
- Jesus wept! His humanity identifies and empathizes with our pain.
- Jesus has compassion on his dear children. He knows how we feel, and he cares.
- We need to take care of those who take care of us.