Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Real Sympathy"

John 11.3, 5, 33-36 NASU

“So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, ‘See how He loved him!’ ”

Jesus was fully human. The gospel record proves that. Jesus Christ experienced the full spectrum emotions common to all mortals and, for that reason alone, is qualified to “sympathize” with our human condition.

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Hebrews 4.15 NKJV

My oldest daughter, Christina, has a heart of gold.  She was a successful CPA and now an amazing stay-at-home mom. When Christina was seven years old, early one Saturday morning, she stumbled across a TV infomercial with a lady modeling a dress. Christina was struck with the idea of obtaining that dress for her mother. It was an innocent gesture of pure love. She followed the instructions given by the television announcer and made the 1-800 number call. Christina tried to explain to the sales representative that she wanted to get the dress for her mommy.

I don’t blame the telephone attendant for being curt. She had sales to make. There was no time for small kids with no money. “Get off the phone, little girl.” Click. Christina was devastated, sobbing. I tried to affirm her selfless act and console her broken heart. She attempted to do a good thing for her mother and was rejected for her genuine effort. I shall never forget that tender moment.

I have often felt Jesus console me in the same way. I tried to do the right thing, but it did not work out well. Jesus truly understands. He “loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” and loves each one of us. Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit” by the grief of His friends who lost their brother. It “troubled” Him when others were in pain. He feels our pain and identifies deeply with our broken hearts.

Two little words comprise the shortest verse in the entire Bible. They pretty much say it all…

“Jesus wept.”
John 11.35

The image entitled "Tear!" is used by permission of ::: *TearS* ::: (Almaha) whose wonderful photographic work you can view at

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