A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Daily Encouragement on
Monday, June 24, 2019
Barn in York County, PA
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"Sometimes We Cry"
Message summary: "Jesus wept." John Piper observes concerning this verse, "for all its grammatical simplicity, itís packed with unfathomable complexity."
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"Jesus wept" (John 11:35).
But sometimes I hurt and sometimes I cry
Sometimes I can't get it right
No matter how hard that I seem to try
One of the features of ministry is working with people during the inevitable hard times in life. It might be a discussion about a family matter, an aging parent, wayward child, a hospital visit, or many other occasions. People often weep when sharing their burdens. In the last two days we have had times of strong men weeping as they shared a burden they were going through. Their freedom to express their emotion is a sign of their confidence in their manhood.
Weeping is a good thing and we have various Scriptural examples of this, perhaps most famously our two word daily text, "Jesus wept".
A folksy expression of the benefit of weeping is, "When the eyes leak, the head won't swell". Times of weeping are often times of brokenness and a realization of our humility before God.
When grief has left you low it causes tears to flow
When things have not turned out the way that you had planned
But God won't forget you His promises are true
And tears are a language God understands.
Many of us know today's verse due to it being the shortest verse in the Bible. Perhaps we memorized it as part of our reservoir of memorized verses. It's sure not hard to memorize!
But as John Piper observes, "for all its grammatical simplicity, itís packed with unfathomable complexity."
The setting is in John 11, the death of our Lord's friend Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary. Verse 5 states that, "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."
Why did Jesus weep?
1) The immediate context of the verse is that Jesus was deeply moved when he saw Mary and other friends weeping when they reported the death to Him. Weeping can be contagious. I know I sometimes weep when I see other people weeping. Pastors with a tender heart will periodically weep when a certain point touches him and that can cause weeping in the congregation. It's a quality of genuine emotion that I appreciate in a pastor. We recall visiting a church where the pastor was dealing with a very difficult subject and broke down in tears at the gravity of the matter.
2) Jesus wept because He loved Lazarus and his sisters. That point is specifically made (v.5). He is demonstrating His sorrow and grief, a normal and healthy human emotion. Jesus expressed grief when he received notice that John the Baptist had been slain. "Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself" (Matthew 14:13). The Scripture doesn't provide any more detail, but those words "withdrew" and "secluded place" speak volumes.
Bible teacher John MacArthur comments,
"Jesusí tears were generated both by His love for Lazarus, and by His grief over the deadly and incessant effects of sin in a fallen world. Verse 35, though it is the shortest verse in the Bible, is rich with meaning. It emphasizes Jesusí humanity; He was truly ďa man of sorrows and acquainted with griefĒ (Isaiah 53:3). But while the Jews were correct in seeing Jesusí sorrow as evidence that He loved Lazarus, they were wrong to think that His tears reflected the same hopeless despair that they felt."
We received word early yesterday morning of a friend in distress and prayed and followed up, including a visit to the ICU. As I drove Brooksyne to meet her ride to the Joni and Friends Retreat she is serving at this week we discussed this and how at any given time how many are in the midst of some type of acute sorrow and grief. We pray God will grant assurance of His love and that each will know and accept that love.
God sees the tears of a brokenhearted soul
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall
God weeps along with man and takes him by the hand
Tears are a language God understands.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Note: Not covered in today's message but weeping can also be a result of deep joy and gratefulness. At times I weep during a moving sermon or song that reminds me of the blessings of God.
Note 2: "Jesus wept" is often considered the shortest verse in the Bible. Here's a point of trivia some may find interesting. In the Greek "Jesus wept" translates these Greek words Ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς. However in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 the Greek is Πάντοτε χαίρετε, which translates "Rejoice always". Now I am not sure when you read this the Greek character will render correctly but there are actually less Greek character in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 than John 11:35!
Last night Ester and I went to hear the Collingsworth family at Music In The Park in Lebanon, PA. This is indeed a family group with a mother and father and four children who have sung together for many years. Three of the children are married and their spouses travel with the group, along with some grandchildren.
The concerts are held in a beautiful park in Lebanon PA.
Lots of people out on a very pleasant evening!
What a joy to visit with our friends John and Faithe Keefer.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Sometimes I Cry" Video Jason Crabb A candid expression of need. This song prompted our message title today.
"Tears Are A language" Video Gordon Jensen A timeless message from the seventies, a new song when we were just getting started in ministry.
"Your Ways Are Higher Than Mine" Video The Collingsworth Family We heard this song last night at the concert and dedicate to all in the midst of trouble.
Yesterday Brooksyne went up to Spruce Lake in the Poconos with a group from Calvary Church to serve with a short term mission team at a Joni and Friends Family Retreat this week. We welcome our readers to pray for her during this time.
"The Joy That It Brings" Video
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