Lazarus had died. Mary saw Jesus and knowing that He was God she claimed that He could have saved Lazarus.
“‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept.”
I know that this is a hard place to stop the story because, as many of you may know, Jesus goes on the raise Lazarus from the dead. I stopped it here because I believe that Luke 11:35 ‘Jesus wept.’ is a tiny, powerful verse that we can glean understanding from. Jesus did not come in ‘mighty and strong’ to save the day. He didn’t don a superhero outfit and he certainly didn’t tell everyone to ‘Fear not!’. He didn’t come with suckers or band-aids or even with some hot tea to comfort the hurting. He came, real, raw and honest with nothing but compassion and that compassion moved in such a way that he was able to relate to those who were mourning. He mourned, too. He didn’t cover it up. Jesus, Savior of the world, was weeping with the brokenhearted.
I have a friend who is experiencing loss right now. Do you? Whether it is loss of a friendship, family member, house, job, boyfriend or girlfriend or any range of things…loss hurts. I know I have been guilty of doing my best to help someone I love to not hurt. I have tried to make things better or offer what I can to help them get past something instead of helping them get through something. What I have learned and seen of Jesus in this little, tiny scripture is that he also wept. He came alongside the broken and hurting and he mourned with them. It doesn’t say how long he was there mourning for…it simply says that he was there and that he, too, mourned. I think we can all learn from this beautiful picture of compassion.
It is not what we can do for our hurting friends, necessarily, although offering helping hands never hurts. I believe it is what we can do with them. Pray, talk, cry, mourn, weep, and even laugh and smile. I’m not an expert on these things. I do not pretend to be. (And if I was I would ask you to seriously reconsider your choices for experts because I am definitely not qualified for such a position.) The only image or picture I have of what to do for a friend in need is Jesus. Jesus wept. Maybe we should, too.
Marveling at the greatness of our God,