“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35, NKJV)
Most of us can declare where the shortest verse is found in the Bible. We may even have had the opportunity during one of those times when you lifted your hand in Sunday School (for those who remember, while feeling a bit sorry for us former Catholics who didn’t have that training) and loudly proclaimed, “I know it! John 11:35! Jesus wept!” when asked during the Bible Sword drill. Baptists knew of those childhood times. Others may have too.
There is another verse not so easily recalled, when Jesus had also shed tears in public, actually weeping in fact.
“When Yeshua had come closer and could see the city, he wept over it (emphasis mine), saying, “If you only knew today what is needed for shalom! But for now, it is hidden from your sight. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will set up a barricade around you, encircle you, hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within your walls, leaving not one stone standing on another — and all because you did not recognize your opportunity when God offered it!” (Luke 19:41-44, Complete Jewish Bible)
The Scriptures record at least these two instances quoted above when Yeshua HaMashiach, the world’s Messiah, cried. One occurred, as John wrote, at His best friend Lazarus’ grave cave, who had just died and buried within the past three days.
The other time when He approached the city of Jerusalem, within a short period before fulfilling prophecy about His certain forthcoming death. He knew the prophecies He Himself would proclaim (Matthew 24 and others) that this city of God, Yerushalayim, would not only soon be destroyed by the Romans, but even before then this same people within would momentarily proclaim Him as King, and then within days following crucify Him as a liar, rejecting Him as the promised Messiah for which He was, and still is.
There have been a few times when I wept. In public even. Once was in 1988 when I first stood at the Western Wall, the Kotel, (formerly called the Wailing Wall) in Jerusalem, where myriads of Jews had already done so since June 6, 1967, when they recaptured their rightful capital city. I too had put my hands on that natural, earthly wall, and then the supernatural love of the Lord Yeshua overcame me, interceding through me for these I stood among, His chosen people, and all the peoples of the nations He has created.
But being a guy, and an American at that, we typically are not supposed to cry, but rather are expected to uphold the false standard so common among us, to be the macho type and not be expressive in that manner, especially in public. People might think we are weak, fragile, and even have a caring heart about people, someone other than ourselves, our family, and our things. Imagine that.
But this should not be so. Jesus wept. The King of the Universe Himself wept. With real tears at that. It is true.
As I consider and think about these verses of God-in-the-flesh weeping, I ask myself, “Do I care enough about cities, and the people within, to weep over their lives, as they go on rejecting the Living God, the One Who alone can save them? Do I give any effort in prayer and supplication, to intercede on their behalf, as they turn their backs on the Giver of Life, and continue in their wicked ways, blindly doing so?”
Many times, I don’t, as I just focus on my family, my things, my life.
In the coming days and years ahead, as the world around us plunges deeper into destruction, sin, and certain death, will I, will you, give ourselves in intercession, crying out with utter grief as we witness the ongoing national wars (both with guns and mouths), baby killing at birth, drug overdoses following the desire to escape life, and both children and young adults being given over to sexual predators for their horrific, satanic pleasure?
Jesus shed tears over the people of the Golden City. But His grief was not to be for nothing. He knew that He had come down to earth, from His place alongside God the Father in heaven, to fulfill all the promises concerning the promised Messiah. And because He knew that His life here was meant to be lived among us, followed by terrible torture and later hung on a tree to die, in order to fulfill the requirement that innocent blood must be shed for our redemption from sin, He willing did it.
We are thus to “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:2-3, THE MESSAGE)
Jesus (Yeshua) shed tears over the lost and hurting people, over the very city that would turn against Him. And yet, because He knew the plans and purposes of His Father, our God, He endured it all for our sake. This should give us the hope, the determination and the desire to also give of ourselves, following in His footsteps, for the sake of others, for those not yet knowing what salvation is, and how to obtain it through Him.
May our hearts be so filled with His love, compassion, and yearning to see the nations come to know Him, that we shed tears, even weep, as we intercede on their behalf too.
Fill our hearts, O Lord Jesus. Your love must become ours.
Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).
Now think on this,
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Now Think On This #403 - in the year of our Lord 03.29.19 – “Tears” – Friday, 5:45 am.