"Jesus wept." John 11:35. Sweet is the record of the sympathy of Jesus, the Son of God. This shortest verse in the Bible is one of the richest in comfort for the sorrowing and bereaved in a sad and sin-stricken world.
The Son of God, the Maker and Upholder of all, was among us here in tenderest grace. With fullest love in His heart and fullest power in His hand, in true manhood, He walked on earth.
The sisters of Lazarus had sent the message to the Lord, "He whom Thou lovest is sick." They knew His affection and interest in all in that Bethany home.
Yes! He loved them all and He loved each of them particularly. "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." We may add, today, with Paul, "The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20. He has intimate care for every one of His own.
Thus we find Him going to Bethany, for although of late in Judea He had been sought to be stoned by the Jews, yet His deep love took Him to the grief-stricken home, and, when there, that same love led Him to weep His way by the side of Mary to the grave of her brother.
"Behold how He loved him!" exclaimed some.
His tender heart was moved by the sorrow death had brought into the world, with its blighting, blasting power.
Oh, stricken soul, He is the same today.
He is "able to succor" the tried (Heb. 2:18).
He is able to sympathize with the sorrowing (Heb. 4:15).
He is "able...to save...to the uttermost," to the very last step of the homeward journey, all who draw near to God by Him (Heb. 7:25).
His consolations are great indeed. When bereavements rob us of a loved one, and the chair is empty, and the home has lost its light, He will draw near and make Himself known in fresh grace and glory.
"Jesus wept." Ponder it, my soul! Jehovah the Saviour, the Lord of glory, Himself showed His heart of sympathy thus. "In all" our "affliction He was afflicted." Isa. 63:9. "He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows," entering in fullest measure into every trial. Apart from sin, He knew all that our anguished spirits suffer, being in all points tempted, or tried, as we are. It was for this He had become man, for in that He Himself suffered, being tempted, He is able to feel with and to succor those who are tempted. It is in our sorrows that we learn His heart's tenderness and love.
"We know Him, as we could not know
In heaven's unnumbered years;
We there shall see His glorious face,
But Mary saw His tears.
The touch that heals the broken heart
Is never felt above;
His angels know His blessedness,
His wayworn saints His love."
+First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].