Even with only two words, the shortest Bible verse in most translations is amazingly profound. What life lessons can we get from John 11:35?
“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35
John 11, the chapter where the shortest Bible verse can be found, tells the story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. This is even after the dead man being in the tomb for four days already. Like Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary, you may be pondering why Jesus had to wait for Lazarus’ death before visiting them. “Why did Jesus not heal Lazarus when he was only sick then weep on his death?” you may ask.
Through this event, however, God is actually teaching us the following valuable life lessons:
1. The Lord is still glorified in the midst of grief.
“But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” – John 11:4
It is quite easy to question God’s plan in our lives. This is especially true when it seems so impossible to get out of our hardships and agony alive. Having this kind of perspective, however, hinders us from appreciating the good things God is about to do in our lives for His glory. As His children, God commands us to rejoice even in the middle of suffering (1 Peter 4:12). Choose to hold on to His promise that all things, either good or seemingly bad, work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
2. God is never apathetic about our pain.
Even when Jesus had to allow sorrow be felt by His friends in order to bring glory to the Father, He did not enjoy it. In fact, seeing Mary and Martha, along with the other Jews, grieve over Lazarus’ death with loud cries, Jesus got “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33).
This shows that Jesus is truly and really man, subject to the same passions and emotions we experience. He feels just as we feel, rejoices just as we rejoice, agonizes just as we agonize.
Jesus proved in this scenario that our Savior is not distant from us. Instead, He is well-acquainted with us. He is not emotionless and he is never indifferent about how we feel.
3. It is okay to weep under afflictions.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
In your walk as a Christian, there will surely be moments of trials and difficulties. God does not expect us to be 100% strong and unwavering all the time. Jesus Himself will be the one to comfort us when we mourn.
Therefore, when you grieve, refrain from complaining (Philippians 2:14) or disputing God’s goodness. Understand that, in due time, the Lord will wipe every tear from your eyes. When that time comes, there will be no death, no crying, no pain anymore (Revelation 21:4).
4. It is natural to grieve for others.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” –Romans 12:15
Are you the type of friend who is there through thick and thin? You may be naturally ready to share the joys of others, but do you also share their sorrows?
As a Christian, we should follow the example Christ set before us. Do not only be ready to rejoice with the people around you. Be there also to sympathize and grieve with them in the middle of trouble. Look after their interests (Philippians 2:4) and extend a helping hand when you can.
Short but deeply sweet. The shortest Bible verse teaches us that (1) the Lord is still glorified in the midst of grief, but (2) is never apathetic about our pain. It also helps us understand that (3) it is okay to weep under afflictions and (4) it is natural to grieve for others.
Visit MNL Tribune’s Facebook page for more encouraging messages.