Sunday, July 11

God has feelings too.

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 24-25, Proverbs 16, John 11

John 11:32–36 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. 

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 

35 Jesus wept. 

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

Observation

Here is a window into the emotion of Jesus.  When He saw Mary and her friends weeping (wailing) over her brother’s death, Jesus was deeply moved (the word is used of a horse snorting in anger) and troubled (shaken, stirred up).  When He got to the tomb, Jesus wept.  

What made Jesus deeply troubled, angry?  I believe it was death itself and the pain and loss it caused others.  Jesus loved them (and us) so much that it troubled Him deeply to see their pain.  When some boys attacked my son and injured him, I was angry not only at the injustice of bullies, but that my son was hurt.  When my friend Steve died of cancer at 38 and left a wife and two small kids behind, I was angry at cancer and death for the pain and loss incurred.  Jesus felt this.

What made Jesus weep?  I believe it was the pain and grief of Lazarus’ family.  It’s wasn’t that Lazarus was dead—Jesus already knew what He was going to do.  It was that his death had caused such pain for those Jesus loved.  This reminds me of Paul’s words in Romans 12:15, “Mourn with those who mourn.”  I have experienced this many times when I meet with the family of someone who has died to plan a memorial service.  It is not the death that brings tears to my eyes; it is the grief of the family.  I feel their pain; their tears lead to mine.

Application

Two things.

First, I’m grateful that our Lord feels our pain and shares our tears.  God has feelings too.  He is not an unfeeling, impassive deity.  That encourages me to bring my emotions with me in prayer, knowing that He understands, that He has felt what I’m feeling and will help me.  (See Hebrews 2:17-18, 4:15-16)

Second, I want to be more empathetic, to share in and understand the feelings of others.  I’m learning to be more aware of my emotions, what I’m feeling and why.  I also want to be more aware of what others are feeling and why.  

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Prayer: Lord, thanks for Your empathy toward me; now help me show that same empathy to others.