The Word opened this morning to the book of Luke 19 where people were throwing down their cloaks before Jesus as HE entered the city. As I read, the words “JESUS WEPT over the city,” (19:41) HIS compassion touched me. HE KNEW what the future held and their “feather in the wind” faith. They were shouting “HALLELUJAH!” but would soon be screaming “CRUCIFY HIM!”
I was reminded of John 11 where the words JESUS WEPT appeared. Jesus cried with Mary and Martha and their friends as they mourned the death of his best friend, Lazarus. Was Jesus weeping with them over the death of his friend, their brother, or once again was he weeping FOR them? I believe Jesus wept because of their lack of faith in HIM. Their “feather in the wind” faith. His closest associates showed no signs of hope. “IF ONLY YOU WERE HERE! THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? HE’S DEAD NOW! AIN’T NOTHING CAN BE DONE! HE’S BEEN DEAD FOR 4 DAYS. HE STINKS!” They did not stand firm and testify… “Yeah, things look bad, but WE KNOW GOD’S SON! We have called upon HIM and HE is going to take care of things. It may look bad…BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! WE KNOW! WE HAVE SEEN WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR US AND OTHERS! WE HAVE SEEN AND EXPERIENCED HIS MIRACLES!”
I have been guilty of the same thing at times. There have been times when things have gone haywire in my life. OK.. they went to hell in a handbasket. I am ashamed to admit that I while there have been times I have stood up and said, “GOD IS GOING TO TURN THIS THINGS AROUND!” I have also been like Mary, moping around with my head down, having the mulligrubs. I even have had conversations with Jesus where I have asked HIM, “Why did you allow this? YOU know the truth! IF ONLY YOU WERE HERE! Where were you? What took you so long? Why didn’t you come right away when I was calling upon you? Why have you allowed things to get in this shape?” I am ashamed that I may have caused Jesus to cry over my lack of faith in HIM and HIS timing, HIS purpose for it all. HIS resurrection.
God has a purpose for ALL THINGS and HIS TIMING. God uses events in OUR LIVES to be a witness to others, to bring others closer to HIM. If may be that our sufferings are purposeful events, set into motion, so that when HE RESTORES, WHEN HE ARRIVES, it will move others to trust in HIM. It may even be to move us even closer to HIM to grow faith even stronger.
“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me.”
John 11: 33-43
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”