Thought for the week
John 11:35 Jesus wept THE WORD wept is different from that which is used to express weeping Martha and friends at the death of her brother Lazarus. This word means not the cry of lamentation nor the wail of excessive grief, but the calm shedding of tears.
They are on the way to the sepulchre, near to which they have now arrived. He is conscious of the power which He is about to exercise, the raising of Lazarus from the dead but He is conscious also of the suffering hearts near Him, and the sympathy with human sorrow is no less part of His nature.
People have wondered to find in the Gospel which opens with the express declaration of the divinity of our Lord, and at a moment when that divinity was about to receive its fullest manifestation, these words, which point them still to human weakness.
But the central thought of St. John’s Gospel is ‘The Word was made flesh’, and He is for us the Resurrection and the Life, because He has been manifested to us, not as an abstraction which the intellect only could receive, but as a person, living a human life, and knowing its sorrows, whom the heart can grasp and love. A God in tears has provoked the smile of the stoic and the scorn of the unbeliever; but Christianity is not a gospel of self-sufficiency, and its message is not merely to the human intellect.
It is salvation for the whole man and for every man; and the sorrowing heart of humanity has never seen more clearly the divinity of the Son of Man than when it has seen His glory shining through His human tears.