“I know that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe you sent me.” John 11:42
Have you ever hurt so much you just wanted to lash out, scream, and throw something until you expended your pain and were finally reduced to an exhausted heap lying on the floor?
Jesus knows that pain.
John 11 recounts the death of Lazarus. Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were very dear to Jesus. When Jesus learned of Lazarus’ illness, he still continued on with his mission, with God’s missions. He did not immediately leave to comfort Lazarus.
Does this translate the Jesus was not moved, or did not feel compassion?
Quite the contrary.
We read in verse 33, that “when Jesus saw Mary weeping and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”
He was so moved he cried.
In the midst of his pain, he must have heard the accusatory mumblings, “could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
He could have lashed out at the crowd, pride penetrating his response. He could have raised his voice and raised the wrath of God against them. He could have picked up that stone sealing death inside and cast both it and death dramatically away.
He could have done any of these things.
Yet, he chose instead to think of His father, and what He wanted.
In verse 38, “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.”
And then he performed the miracle of restoring life into a dead body.
Jesus did love Lazarus. He did feel great compassion for Mary and Martha. Jesus allowed himself to feel those emotions and he allowed himself to express these emotions.
Somehow, he did not allow those emotions to side-track his business of doing God’s will.
As moved as He was, moved to the point of tears, gazing into that dark, forbidding tomb with death’s stench mocking Him, Jesus’ first words were to God’s glory. (verse 42)
His own pain was pushed aside and He was able to both admit and show concern for the souls surrounding Him. He recognized this terrible situation as a tremendous opportunity to witness for God.
He took the opportunity to both raise the dead and restore faith, all to the glory of God.
Quite the example for all of us.
How do I let emotions dictate my response?
Read John 10:10. How can God use my emotions? How can Satan steal my response?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, May my response to heartache be like that of Jesus: not blocking emotions but through them glorifying You. May I continually search for opportunity to glorify You. Amen.
Thanks for reading! Please return by Monday, March 30, for the next post.