“Jesus wept.”(John 11:35 and Luke 19.41)
One of these passages is the shortest verse in scripture. The other is a powerful account of the compassion of our God and Savior for the city of Jerusalem. I find these verses to be profound in their expression of the depth of passion of God for God’s creation.
In these two recollections, by the authors of the Gospels, years after the life and ministry of Jesus, it is significant to me that they remembered that Jesus publically wept over the state of affairs of both individuals and of the community at large. There were incidences in the life of Christ that moved him to a significant display of emotion.
The account of John is well familiar to us. Jesus wept at the tomb of his good friend Lazarus. Death moved Jesus to tears. The one who is very God of very God was moved to grieve the suffering and the death of his friend. God is a God who suffers with us.
The second account, reported by Luke, occurs immediately after the Triumphal Entry. Jesus surveys the city and weeps over the spiritual depravity found there. The city could not conceive of the peace God offered them by God’s presence and God’s salvation. Jerusalem, particularly its religious leaders, would not accept the salvation God was offering and would not live into the in breaking Kingdom of God.
God is clearly moved by the plight of the people of the world, their lack of peace, and their rejection of God’s salvation.
I stood by this statue just outside of the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial in downtown Oklahoma City this spring. I considered the emotion, the tragedy, and the loss experienced that horrific April day. There is no doubt that Jesus wept over the loss of life, the hatred expressed, and the agony of the City that day.
I further pondered, I wonder what is going on in the world today, that causes Jesus to weep. What situations are going on in the world, in OUR world, that move God to express the raw pain of grief, to shed the tears of hurt, of abandonment, of loneliness, of suffering. Where might we find Jesus weeping today?
Then I wonder, if those same things that move our God to physically manifest God’s grief and passion move us to tears as well? I wonder if we, who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ grieve the things that Jesus grieves, or if we have become so calloused to the plight of others, so soothed by our comfort and our peace, that we don’t even notice the pain of the world around us.
I wonder if Jesus looks at his church and weeps over our lack of concern for others, for the lost, for the broken, for the hurting, for the poor, for the oppressed.
I wonder where I should be weeping… if I really did find the heart of God in me…
Anyway, just my thoughts today.