The shortest verse in the Bible. We all know it, right?
A favorite of young folks for a fast memorization check off. Just two words. Two words packed with more information that we have yet to fathom.
JESUS. GOD of the Universe cried! And not just a sniffle. Not just a tear or two trickling down His holy face. How do we know that? Read verse 36.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
First let us recall the setting was a graveyard. Lazarus had been dead four days and the lamenting had not let up. Jesus had come to raise Lazarus from the dead; although, no one suspected that.
And there before the sepulcher JESUS WEPT. Why? Why do any of us cry? We are MOVED with emotion. So was JESUS. Imagine that! GOD moved with emotion. And some think if He even has any emotion it is mostly anger, just waiting for us to mess up so He can zap us – forget tears of compassion, right?
So did He cry because Lazarus was dead? Honestly, I doubt it. He was about to raise him from the dead. Could He have felt sorry for Lazarus, as He was bringing him back from Paradise to this sin cursed planet? Perhaps but I’m not etching that in stone either.
Was He empathizing with the grief of the Sisters? Yes, I am certain He was but I’m still not convinced that was the primary reason for the weeping. Weeping so strong and visible that the townsfolk said,
Behold how he loved him!
You do know we have some professional mourners on the scene, right? And they say of JESUS Behold how he loved him! I think it is safe to say our JESUS was sobbing! But why? What would bring JESUS to such a display of raw emotions?
I think His prayer gives us an answer.
42 . . . but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
The unbelief of the people. Yes, Lazarus was physically dead but the people standing around Him, physically breathing, were dead-er than Lazarus because they were spiritually dead and unwillingly to allow HIM to give them LIFE. I think He still weeps over folks bound tighter in their unbelief than Lazarus in his grave-clothes.
Know this: JESUS not only loved people enough to weep for them; He loved people enough to go to hell for them. Who else loves you that much? And when we refuse Him, He grieves; He weeps.
And now I am wondering if we who have believed Him for salvation but continue to wallow in spiritual immaturity cause Him to weep today?