Yesterday I read a trivia question: What’s the shortest verse in the King James version of the Bible? Of course the answer is “Jesus wept.” Two simple, yet very powerful words. I’ve read those words hundreds of times, yet I’ve never truly embraced what they mean.
Jesus wept. His emotions were so strong that they overtook his body.
”Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt,” said Stephen Sideroff, PhD, a staff psychologist at Santa Monica–University of California Los Angeles & Orthopaedic Hospital. “People also cry under other circumstances or occasions. They are letting go of their guard, their defenses, tapping into a place deep inside themselves.”
I often have to remind myself that while Jesus is the Son of God, he was also human. His emotions were part of his everyday life. Just like you and me.
The verse “Jesus wept” is found in John, Chapter 11. As I read this chapter, I also read the chapter before and the chapter after. I imagined what Jesus was going through and the reasons behind His emotions.
- In Chapter 10, Jesus is telling a gathering of people: “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.” Strong words to express to a crowd. He has a great deal of responsibility.
- In Chapter 12, it is the coming of Jesus’s Hour: “Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” He knows that His death is coming soon.
- Chapter 11 is the death of his friend Lazarus. While Jesus knows he will raise Lazarus from the dead, the emotion of the moment with Martha and Mary overtakes Him.
The human side of Jesus has a lot to experience in a very short period of time, He has a lot to digest. So what does he do? He lets Himself be human and He cries.
Then He immediately trusts that His Father will guide Him.
I always feel vulnerable when I cry. I feel like I’ve lost control. But in reality, it’s my body releasing the emotions that have built up inside of me for so long. The struggles, the pain, the anxiety…the unknown, they all come out in my tears.
Those are the moments when I am reminded to calm my body, close my eyes and pray one simple prayer, “Guide me, God.”
And He does.
Dan Herda is an editor of theROCK.