The following Scriptural Nugget is the third in a mini-series based on John 11.
"When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 'Where have you laid him?' he asked. 'Come and see, Lord,' they replied. Jesus wept." (John 11:33-35).
Lazarus, Jesus' good friend, is dead. His sisters are weeping and mourning, for besides their sense of great loss, they are also facing the reality of having to survive on their own. In Part 2 of this mini-series, we saw that although Jesus could have prevented Lazarus' death, He did not do so. His decision to not heal Lazarus was based on the fact that He wanted to use this opportunity to allow Mary, Martha, Lazarus, His disciples, and everyone present to experience Him in a way they had never experienced Him before (John 11:4: "it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."). He allowed Lazarus' death in order to bring about the greatest miracle He had done up until that point in time: He was about to bring Lazarus back from the dead.
Had the people fully understood and believed, there would have been rejoicing instead of mourning! But even though Jesus had plainly told His disciples (John 11:11: "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."), as well as Mary and Martha (John 11:23: "Your brother will rise again."), no one could see beyond the circumstance, and as a result, weeping and wailing prevailed.
And right here in the midst of all of this, we read these interesting verses: "[Jesus] was deeply moved in spirit and troubled . . . Jesus wept."
It is easy enough to understand why the others were weeping, but why would Jesus weep? After all, He KNEW that in just a little while, Lazarus was going to rise from the dead, and through it all the Son of Man would be glorified! It should have been a triumphant moment for Jesus. But instead, His heart, too, was troubled and He wept. Why would Jesus weep? He wept out of compassion for those who hurt!
So often in life, trials are allowed to teach us important lessons. But don't we, like Mary and Martha, also usually get so caught up in the circumstance of the moment that we, too, forget who is in charge? We take our eyes off of Jesus and look to the circumstance instead, and the result is usually "weeping" and "wailing". This story teaches us that when we are sad, Jesus hurts with us. Even if our sadness is caused by a lack of faith in what He has promised, He still acutely feels our sadness. He hurts because we hurt! He cares so much about how we are feeling, that just seeing us weep moves His spirit. He cares about each and every one of us! What an awesome, compassionate God!
Lord God, the next time I am "weeping" and "wailing" in the midst of a set of bad circumstances, help me to remember that You, too, are weeping with me!