John 11:35 Jesus wept.
EMPATHY…is the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings. In other words, HURTING FOR OTHERS is empathy. So here we go.
I have heard more times than I could care to count that John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the entire bible. But you see, in the effort to rationalize this verse, the most important lesson can easily be missed: When Jesus wept means more than just tears of sympathy. HIS TEARS SAYS, YOUR PAIN IS MY PAIN. But let’s get the basis of this story.
They are a family of THREE SINGLE ADULTS; the two sisters, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, their brother. They are known to Jesus personally. And yes, Lazarus who is loved by Jesus is lying down in his sickbed. Word is sent out to Jesus that his friend needs him. Instead of going there in time to touch and heal him, he delays on purpose. Oh yes, he was very much aware that Lazarus could soon be dead. Yet when he finally got there, with Lazarus already in the tomb, he wept. For a long time, I was puzzled by this scenario. Why? Because Jesus knew Lazarus was dead before he got there. Moreover, he knew that he could resurrect him, but yet with all that knowledge, he still wept.
But here is another Lazarus story: Your story. She/he is personally known to you…might be a friend, a sister, a daughter, or a colleague at work. But all the same, you have a friendly relationship with them. She/he is in a relationship with someone who you don’t approve of. Of course, there are signs everywhere that this relationship was never meant to be. And even though you keep on hinting here and there, with time, you decide to keep your distance and wait. Then news come through; the relationship is over. What do you do?
Like Jesus, when someone we know goes through a painful break-up with the one they had hoped to marry, we are called to weep with them. TO HURT FOR THEM. Why, because, when you hurt for others…you are saying;
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
YOUR BURDEN CAN BE DIVIDED
THERE IS HOPE FOR TOMORROW
THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN
And above all, we are in this together until you get on the other side. Jesus hurt for Martha and Mary…and yes, he encouraged and walked with them in their darkest hour until…he gave them back hope when he raised Lazarus from the dead.
For the single ones out there, I want you to be encouraged today. You are not alone. I hurt with and for you…I have been there, I know the pain. But I also know God has that special person waiting for you. BE STRONG.