Friday, November 26, 2010

The Jesus I Know

"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,
and said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.' 
Jesus wept."
John 11:33-35

Jesus' friend Lazarus has died. Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, have summoned Jesus to come. They know He can raise Lazarus from the dead, and of course He does. A miracle that brings glory to God. It's a moving story, beginning with the first moment when Mary approaches Him. She is wailing, as are the Jews around her. Scripture tells us that Jesus was "deeply moved in spirit and troubled". In the original language the implication is that Jesus was angry in spirit and very agitated. But angry and agitated by what? Some suggest that the wailing of the people showed their lack of faith and that this upset Jesus. But two verses later He is weeping. Not wailing as the others, but weeping softly as in shedding tears. This doesn't sound like the Lord was angry at the people. Another suggestion is that Jesus was angry at death and the grief that death causes. And that He wept, not because Lazarus was dead -- for He knew that Lazarus would soon be resurrected at His hand -- but out of His compassion for the mourners.  The second interpretation seems more plausible to me. The Jesus I know detests the idea of death and decay. That's why He came to earth to save us, His life not sparing. And the Jesus I know is filled with compassion for the hurting and seeks to comfort those who mourn. 

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