32) 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. (John 11:32-35)
Jesus wept. Why? He could—and did—easily bring Lazarus back from the dead. He knew He could exchange their tears of sorrow for tears of joy. Jesus told the disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18) There was no logical reason for Him to weep. Yet, He wept-with deep feeling.
He wept with empathy: “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.” ¹ Jesus witnessed the great sorrow of Mary and the Jews who were with her and was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” He understood what they were feeling and shared this grief and loss with them, even though He knew what they didn’t know or understand—that He could bring Lazarus back to them. Jesus was a brother in this moment, a man who shared the human sorrow of Mary and those Jews who came with her. Then, Jesus called Lazarus forth from the grave with the power given Him as Lord and Master.
Jesus was both man and God. Yet, He was not above meeting us at our human level. He came to this earth to become human.
(5) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; (7) rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7)
And we are called to become like Him in our relationships with each other, taking on the “nature of a servant,” not to be above others—but to meet them at their level with understanding and empathy.
Jesus goes with us through our sorrow, our pain, our loneliness, our desperation, our darkest hours-and weeps with us. He knows what we are experiencing and can empathize fully. The hope we have to overcome these times in our lives lies not in our tears- but in His. If Jesus did not understand us from the human level through His time here on this earth, He would not be as approachable and could not truly hear, see, sense, feel, and share in our daily struggles throughout this life. It is why we can go to Him in prayer with the confidence that He understands and cares.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for “being made in human likeness” for us. Thank you, Jesus, for your tears.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/13/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word