‘When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled… Jesus wept… Jesus, once more deeply moved…’ (John 11:33,35,38 New International Version UK)
Love in the Bible is never passive, it’s always active. To love our neighbour is to get involved in their lives and to help them, to support them and value them. This has to be important to me because it is important to Jesus. When Jesus’ friend Lazarus died Jesus weeps and is deeply moved. He knew that Lazarus was going to be alive again in a few moments, but he didn’t just shrug his shoulders and say, ‘cheer up, it’s going to be alright, I’ll soon get things sorted out.’ Rather he cried, he was moved, and he was troubled.
These words don’t convey the full force of what Jesus felt. The original language depicts him snorting and bellowing like a wild animal. It’s incredible to me to think that the God of the universe cares about and hates so much something that concerns us and which we hate – namely death.
I love the fact we have a God like that. Jesus knew what was coming, that this situation was going to end well, but he still entered into the pain and suffering of Mary and Martha. He was not remote or detached but shared in the full human experience and in so doing redirected the sisters’ focus to himself. I am the resurrection and the life, he said
(John 11:25). I am the one who embraces your heartache to deliver you from it.
As a Christian, I know that all is going to end well. There will be a new heaven and a new earth where pain, sorrow, crying and death will be a thing of the past
(Revelation 21:1-4). But that doesn’t mean I don’t get involved in the pain and suffering this world is experiencing now. Christians don’t follow a lofty king, but one who got his hands dirty, who entered into the human predicament to heal it. That’s why, as his disciple, I should join with Jesus and participate with him in being involved in the needs and the hurt of this world.
It’s a chance for me to show the love and compassion of Jesus. It also provides an opportunity to tell people that they need not fear or panic no matter what is taking place all around them because there is a God in heaven who loves them and came to deliver them even from death itself.
That’s good news people need to hear. That’s why I can’t just walk on by – how about you?
Father, open my eyes that I might not cross the road from human need, but rather join with Jesus in his love and compassion for the people of this world.
Have a good week caring about those in need.