I must confess something. I used to think that Jesus was very strange when I read that He wept upon seeing family and friends weeping over Lazarus’ death. You see, Jesus knew He was going to call forth Lazarus from death to life just a few moments later. So why did He still weep?
The story in John 11:32-35 starts off with Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus having just died. Only 4 days later did Jesus arrive at their house – and He’d gone late on purpose. When Martha saw that Jesus had finally shown up, she fell at His feet and said: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw Mary and the other Jews who had followed her weeping, He was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled”. And then He wept.
The Bible records many occasions where Jesus displayed compassion. He had compassion on the 2 blind men who called out to Him, so He opened their eyes (Matthew 20:34). He had compassion on the multitude who followed Him for 3 days and had nothing to eat, so He gave them food to eat (Mark 8:2-6).
He saw the widow crying over her dead son, so He raised him from the dead (Luke 7:12-15). The psalmist says that “the Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8 NKJV). The God of all comfort keeps track of our sorrows. He collects all our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8 NKJV).
Jesus weeps with those who weep.
My friend and I used to visit an 80-year-old lady. She lived with her bedridden 88-year-old stroke-stricken husband. When I spoke these words to her: “神看到了你的付出、你的辛苦、你的牺牲…”, sharing that God had seen all her years of giving, struggles and sacrifice, my tears came.
I believe that in that moment, my heart had touched the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus.
10,000 Reasons is a song close to many hearts, including mine. I remember the first time I heard it, I listened to it at least 30 times on repeat. I was in a wilderness season, but I still wanted to bless the Lord and remember His goodness. Since then, this song would always remind me that the Lord is with me and assure me that He understands what I’m going through.
One time, I was feeling discouraged as my lower back pain seemed to flare up again. That day, 10,000 Reasons came on during a worship session. My tears just flowed. I was touched by God’s love and compassion. I felt like He was telling me that He understood my pain.
David tells God not to ignore his tears (Psalm 39:12). Bob Sorge says tears are liquid words. Tears say more than words often can. Have you known tears? You’re blessed.
Sorge goes on to say we cry not just when we’re in pain, but because we desire. Tears are the language of desire. We desire God, even to tears.
He writes of a young man who was seeking breakthrough in a certain area of his life, but had exhausted all avenues he knew. This young man wrote to General William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, for advice. The General wrote back in 2 simple words: “Try tears.”
Have you been crying? Do not despise the pain that brings you tears. Pour out your heart to God.
Jesus weeps with us. He knows how to comfort us so we can bring that comfort to others. Our sorrows are not wasted with Him; one day He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4).