John 11:30-37

Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” John 11:30-37

The whole Star Wars phenomenon sort of passed me by. I saw the very first movie way back when and I didn’t really get it. I wasn’t paying close enough attention. The special events were cool but I was then and will ever be more of a Star Trek guy. Not the movies but the TV show that was on every day at 4:00 PM when we got home from school.

The super hero thing doesn’t work for me either. I’ll take a spy thriller over a stunt man in his underwear any day. But obviously that leaves me the odd man out because it seems that science fiction and super heroes are all the rage these days.

Which makes it tough for us to see Jesus as a man. Super hero? Of course. Miracle worker, magic healer, water walker – we expect all of that from Jesus the Super Hero, the Cloaked Crusader, the Mighty Messiah!

So we blow off the tears that fall down Jesus’ face as he comes into the presence of two grieving sisters who have just lost their brother. Not just the brother they love but also very likely their only visible means of support. Jesus feels for the girls but he also feels for himself at his own loss.

We blow those tears off because, in the back of our minds, polluted with Jesus the Super Hero, we think “but surely since Jesus knows the future he already knows that he is going to raise Lazarus from the dead now and every one else at the resurrection so why cry in the first place?”

But Jesus isn’t our Super Hero. He is our Savior and that is a very different thing. He is a man, a person, with stinky feet and tear ducts. He has feelings just as we have feelings. If you have ever lost a friend, a sibling, a loved one, trust that Jesus himself felt the same web of pain and grief and shock and anger and loss and confusion…and hope.

I can’t follow a Super Hero. He doesn’t need my help. But I can follow a Savior who cries at the death of a friend, who experiences that sense of loss that is there despite the hope of the life to come. I can’t raise the dead but I can cry with those left behind and that is all that Jesus calls us to do.

Let us pray: Tears of grief and sadness. Tears of joy and relief. Sometimes Lord, our tears are the best prayers we can offer. Our bodies shake with prayer. You know that feeling for you had that feeling. Draw our tears from us, that in their baptism we might be one with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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7 Responses to “John 11:30-37”

  1. Sharon Boyd Says:

    Thank you for putting into readable words what I have been trying to pull together in my thoughts.
    Sharon B.

  2. briangigee Says:

    Kerry, amen! Jesus’ best friend was Lazarus… The one he never called to be an apostle.. Lazarus wasn’t sent… He stayed. He remained. He provided the space ( with the help of his sisters of course!) for Jesus to kick back and relax and take a break on his living room floor… He was the brother we all want vs. the ones we get…

    Keep pointing to Jesus… I don’t say he’s the only way to salvation, but I can’t find a better way than following him… For he acknowledges the death in me and the new resurrected life I have in him… Gigee

  3. Gloria Smith-Rockhold Says:

    I’m so glad you are back. Thanks for listening and hearing God’s voice.

  4. Marlys Says:

    Oh, how this spoke to my heart today! Yesterday my dear daughter entered the Hospice program. My heart is weeping, I will keep this devotion for the days ahead! We are so blessed to have you back.

  5. Joyce Says:

    Thank you for restarting your daily devotions. God is good.

  6. Marilyn musgnung Says:

    Your daily devotions mean so much to me!

  7. Carolee Says:

    When God gave us Jesus as a man it was so we could relate to him as a real live flesh and blood human being. He was also God, our Savior, when that day of atonement came for him to die on the cross. He would save us from our sinful selves with real human suffering and weeping and blood. He would restore our relationship with God, and offer us eternal life in His Kingdom. Thank God for Jesus’ resurrection! Alleluia! We are redeemed! Alleluia!

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