This week Michael writes that in the gospel of John, toward the end of Jesus' ministry, Jesus and the twelve disciples were headed toward Bethany. They were on their way to his friend Lazarus' house because Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus several days before that their brother was sick and near unto death. Jesus said to His disciples that Lazarus had fallen asleep. He then told them that Lazarus had died, and that He was going to prove the power of God. Martha rushed out to meet them and said to Jesus, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus said, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said, "I understand that he will rise again at the resurrection."
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
When they came to Bethany and Jesus saw the mourners and Lazarus' sister Mary, the scripture says, "Jesus wept." He was overcome with grief and compassion for His friends. When you look at this story of Mary and Martha, Jesus gave Martha the truth, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me shall never die." To Mary, he gave tears. Jesus wept. Sometimes, you say it best when you say nothing at all. Jesus' life of ministry was a combination of truth and tears.
A pastor often travels to Nepal in trekking expeditions and to get away and meditate. On his first trip ten years ago, he picked up the luggage at the airport for the trekking team. While passing through a slum area in Bombay to take the train to Nepal, he noticed the filth and squalor of the slum. He broke down and cried for the people in that area and at the utter depravity of their living conditions. Other times he went to Nepal, he was no longer moved by the sight of the slums. According to Lamentations 3:22-23, “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” His compassions never come to an end because morning by morning new mercies I see. Our compassion needs to be fresh and new every morning as though it were the first time. Jesus always feels the pain and compassion for God's people each new day.
The heart of a man and woman of God is truth. Jesus said, "Sanctify them with thy word; thy word is truth." A child of God is also a person of tears and compassion. Keeping our heart close to the heart of our Lord means that we must share both truth and tears. According to Proverbs, the wisdom literature of the bible, wisdom is the application of the knowledge of the truth. Proverbs 3:3 and following says: "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Let’s continue Michael’s message on “Truth and Tears” on the next post.
In Christ, Brian