The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” Even though this verse is simple, it’s packed with many truths that are deep and complex.
When Jesus began His public ministry at about thirty years of age, He left the security of home for the uncertainties of life on the road. But during His travels, there was one place he loved to visit: that little house in the village of Bethany where His friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus lived.
The three were siblings, and Jesus loved them. The sisters sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, but by the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus was dead, and they were mourning his death. Martha and Mary rushed out to meet Jesus and expressed their frustration that He hadn’t come earlier.
The Bible explains that when Jesus saw how sad the sisters and other mourners were, “a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled” (John 11:33, NLT).
Jesus was sad because of Mary and Martha’s grief and Lazarus’ suffering. Also, He was angry because He, Jesus, who created life, was dealing with death—a stark contradiction of everything that He is and stands for. As Jesus openly cried and showed his feelings and sadness for His friend, this prompted onlookers to say, “See how much he loved him” (v. 36).
What do Jesus’ tears teach?
It’s important for one to express feelings associated with grieving to God. They show that as Jesus wept over the loss of a loved one, it’s normal and healthy to express emotions to God. Consider the Psalms; many of the psalms are written about pouring out one’s heart to God. Although the psalm sometimes starts with grief, they often end with gratitude and praise (See Psalm 13: Psalm 23; Psalm 30; Psalm 56).
Another thing they teach is how important it is to share grief with others. God calls the body of Christ to “weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15). Often, many grieving people tend to shun others, becoming isolated and depressed. It is much healthier to seek counseling and go to a Life Recovery Group. A group offers encouragement, community, and hope to work through the grief.
When someone shares their grief with God and others, suffering is still hard, but it will lessen it.
Whether grieving the loss of a loved one or another type of loss, please prayerfully consider going to New Life’s Transforming Grief Intensive Workshop.
by Steve Arterburn