February 22nd John chapter 11

Good morning!  Today celebrates the half way point through the Gospel of John

This morning we will look at the verse that all churched children at one time or another have bragged “I memorized a verse.”  John 11:35 “Jesus wept.”  Although the shortest verse in the Bible it raises some questions; mainly the question of; why?  Why did Jesus weep?  The Jews that were there to comfort the family stated “See how He loved him.”  Although that statement is absolutely true; it is obvious that this is not the reason.  Jesus knew four days prior to arriving that Lazarus was dead, it wasn’t a surprise to Him.  Jesus didn’t need time to digest the gravity of the situation, or the loss of Lazarus; in fact it wasn’t a loss at all because Jesus was keenly aware of the eternal state of Lazarus and that he would rise again.  So why the weeping?

I believe, that Jesus being fully human and fully God, was susceptible to the same emotions that we are.  Jesus, the one who was in the beginning with God and “there was nothing created without Him” (John chapter 1), empathized  with the effect of sin on the world.  The agony of the people who were not created to experience, or emotionally handle death, created an emotional response in Him.  Imagine the infinite mind of Christ during this time of mourning viewing the scene at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20) where myriads of people, who did not place their trust in Him, will be eternally damned.  Imagine His pain, having true, unconditional love for man, perhaps (and I really mean perhaps) for the only time in existence He felt unable to help due to the hardened heart of man.  He has given us each a choice and due to His justice He will not force that choice on any one.  He is reaching out with His very life to grab the hands of those sinking in the mire of sin; and His own people, will not take His hand, and sadly, the result is death for most of man kind; according to Matthew 7, eternal death.  Jesus’ heart, I believe, was breaking due the the effect of sin on His creation and the lostness that surrounded Him.

If we are continuing in His Word and staying attached to the vine, the things that breaks His heart will begin to break ours.  I have heard, more than once, that I personally, am too emotional when I preach.  To be honest, this emotion really bothered me early in ministry although I had no control over it.  But I have learned that if we are not broken over sin, we are not where we need to be.  If we cannot weep for the lost that surround us; do we really believe in an eternal judgement of sin?  If we are not concerned for the ones around us who do not know Him; have we really put on “the mind of Christ”?  Every time I pray for the congregation that I am pastoring I ask God for two things:  First, for a desire to be in His Word and second, for brokenness.  These two things are inseparable.  When my son Joshua began his blow off college course in pottery, I was reading in Isaiah where it illustrates God as the potter.  I asked Josh the process of throwing a bowl (that’s the fancy term for turning it)  He explained that the clay was slabbed out then cut into one inch squares.  After that process each square had to be broken down and made soft. It was impossible for the potter, he explained, to use hard clay, it had to be broken.  Once again I wept at the thought of God softening our hearts so that we could be used by Him.

Thank you for joining me in His word daily, through this, may God break our heart for what breaks His.

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