One of the sayings I came up with several years ago, and still fully stand behind is, “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a few well chosen words can describe a lifetime.” These two words say more to me about Christ’s love and relationship with mankind, than so much else in the Bible.
This is the shortest verse in the Bible, and there is a reason for it being singled out. Christ wept because he was moved by the weeping of Mary, and those who came with her, over the death of Lazarus. He knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead so that didn’t bother him, but seeing Mary so unhappy moved him. As we all know, the end is happier, and if you don’t read through verse 44.
Many people think of Christ as distant, and unfeeling, that he was above the pettiness of human emotions. We know that Christ is never petty, and from this verse, that he wasn’t above expressing emotions. I think the only emotion he never felt was regret. He felt sadness, anger, happiness, joy, peace, frustration, and even apprehension when he prayed to let the cup pass from him, but never regret. So why was this small verse so important?
When Christ was in the upper room giving his disciples the new command, he said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Loving as he loved means expressing your feelings honestly, and without pettiness. In other words, learn to control your emotions, don’t let them control you. There is a time for anger, and a time for sadness. There is a time for every emotion.
Knowing the right time for expressing emotions can mean so much to your relationship. If Jesus had laughed at Mary because he knew what was about to happen, it would have meant that she might not have trusted him to understand. Instead, Christ showed perfect compassion and understanding when she needed it, and he shed genuine tears because of his love.
This little verse also shows me that not only did Christ come to save us, but that he truly understands what we are going through. The fact that he put himself in such a position, when he could have given up and destroyed us, is the ultimate expression of love.
Another thing that it shows me is that Christ relates to us on a very personal level. He created us, and he sees every part of us down to our strengths, and weaknesses. No offense to Bette Midler, but God wouldn’t know every little detail of our lives if he was watching us from a distance. He knows what’s in our hearts, and even how many hairs are on our heads.
I love that poem, “Footprints.” It always reminds me that Christ is always by my side ready to carry me through the difficulties of life.
This is what “Jesus wept” means to me
Challenge: Print out the poem “Footprints”, and keep it as a reminder of Christ’s love when things get difficult.