John 11 (ESV)

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him” . . . Continue Reading

Jesus wept. While John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible it provides such profound insight into the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 5:7 says that Jesus “offered up prayers and supplications with loud cried and tears.” Luke 19:41 says that Jesus “drew near and saw the city, he wept over it.” Matthew 23:37 writes, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

What jumped out at me this morning is the context and extended period of sorrow Jesus felt in relation to the sorrow Martha and Mary were experiencing at the loss of their brother, Lazarus. This weeping was not about the general state of mankind but a personal sorrow He experienced because He loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11:5).

John 11:33 says “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” John 11:38 mentions Jesus being “deeply moved again” when He came to the tomb of Lazarus. Then in John 11:43 we read, “When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”

This story of Lazarus, who was once dead and now made alive, is a reflection of the state of humanity throughout history. Apart from Jesus Christ, we are dead. Only though what Christ has accomplished on the cross can we be made alive (born again).

I imagine His tears as He looks out at the world today.

Father, help me weep over the areas of my life that are dead to you – especially those areas I am not even aware of. Give me your heart towards those who are dead in their trespasses and sin. I pray for courage to roll the stone away from the caves people find themselves in so that You can bring them to life.