“Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?” John 11:35-37 (KJV)
With those words, John brings us to the grave of Lazarus and one step closer to identifying who this man – Jesus – really was. “Jesus had presented Himself as the Water of Life, the Bread of Life, and the Light of Life. Now He revealed Himself as the resurrection and the life. This was the seventh and last of Jesus’ miraculous signs that John recorded, and it was the most powerful revelation of His true identity. It shows Jesus’ authority over humankind’s greatest and last enemy: death.” Constable’s Notes, Netbible.org.
When the Jews saw Jesus weeping before the grave of his good friend Lazarus, they assumed that He was grieving. Their friendship was not a secret. “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” John 11:5 (KJV) When he was in the area, he often stayed at their home. It was Mary who “anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.” John tells us that prior to him dying, the sisters sent a message to Jesus that his good friend Lazarus was ill. Now, standing before the grave of His good friend, He sees the faces of Martha, Mary, and all those who came out to mourn. On the surface, all the pieces fit for a grief-stricken Jesus. But what doesn’t fit is, why would the One who presented Himself as, the Water of Life, the Bread of Life, and the Light of Life, weep over the death of someone He was about to restore to life? What on earth could He have seen that was so overwhelming, it moved Him to tears?
Perhaps He saw a world that has been broken by sin. He may have caught a glimpse of America – Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks – and many others.
Dr. Constable suggests that, “Jesus’ tears are proof of His compassion for fallen humanity.” Constable’s Notes, Netbible.org. Humanity has fallen. And because of that, every
generation inherits the task of trying to fix a broken society. In the late 1800s, Reverend Charles Sheldon coined the phrase, What Would Jesus Do – WWJD. At the grave of Lazarus, the crowd watched and wondered, what would Jesus do? What did Jesus do? He marched! All the way to the Cross. He marched to give hope to a broken world. An although He knew this world will not be repaired until His Return, He gave those who would believe the key to unity.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ
Jesus.” Gal 3:28-29 (KJV)
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these”. Mark 13:30-31 (KJV)
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” I John 20-21 (KJV)
‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’. John 15:13 (KJV)
Has America and the world caught a glimpse of what Jesus saw? Has America and the world finally decided to do what Jesus did?
Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks – and many others.
The world is weeping!
Written by Henry Hopson, Jr.