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When I was a youth, our church had a vacation Bible school. Part of the program was a competition to earn points. You could gain points by attending, bringing your Bible and bringing a friend. But most of the points were for memorizing Scripture. One verse I memorized was John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” This is the shortest verse in the Bible.
As I was planning this week’s podcast episodes, I decided today would be my favorite story about Jesus. That was a tall order! There are so many stories of Jesus. I certainly like the fact that he was crucified and rose from the grave. But as I thought about which story was my favorite, John 11:35 came to mind.
Why do I like the fact that Jesus wept? Well, look at the what was happening. Jesus’ good friend Lazarus had died. In fact, Jesus had delayed going to Lazarus, undoubtably planning to raise him from the dead. When Jesus arrived at the tomb, he was met by Lazarus’ sister. Verse 33 says, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”(NIV) This led to his weeping with the mourners.
This highlights Jesus’ compassion. He truly cares about us. Our troubles and griefs trouble him as well. As Hebrews 4:15 says, he empathizes with us. It’s good to know Jesus understands us!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.