Shortest verse in the Bible…
Even without knowing where it comes from, it probably comes to mind pretty quickly. (It can be found in John 11:35, by the way.)
This verse is the shortest in the Bible, but it says so much about the character of Christ. The setting is in a small town, Bethany; just two miles east of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, wasn’t the safest place for Jesus to show up because the Pharisees felt threatened by what they were hearing. ….And seeing.
When Jesus received word that his friends’ brother, Lazarus, was ill, he decided to go Jerusalem. But interestingly, the Bible tells us that He was in no hurry. The fact is, He stayed two more days after Mary and Martha urgently pleaded with Him to come quickly. You see, by the time Jesus got there, Lazarus had already been dead for four days before Jesus arrived.
So why did Jesus wait? If this was his friend, why didn’t he go?? I’m pretty sure His followers were asking the same questions. But John 11:4 says plainly why he waited. “When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.'”
After that, we see that Jesus is “greatly troubled” over Mary mourning for the loss of her brother. Here’s a tidbit. This is the same Mary who once kneeled before Jesus’ feet and washed them with perfume and wiped them with her hair. Now, once more, she kneels before his feet mourning for her brother. This moved Jesus..and so, he wept. (verse 35) In my Christianity class this past fall, I learned that some theologians say that it was not the Son of God who wept tears, but the Son of Man. This CLEARLY illustrates how completely human He was as we see him stirred with compassion for his friends. But at the same time, by performing this miracle of raising a dead man (who had been dead 4 days!!) we see also how he was completely God too.
But you know something, I think that though the great theologians may be right about that, I think it was the Son of God who wept those tears too. Why? Because. Jesus said earlier (John 11:25-26) “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” So since Lazarus did believe and live in Christ, when he died he went to be with the Father. (2 Cor. 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” Ever heard “absent with the body, present with the Lord”??) When Jesus wept those tears, he wept with them because as the Son of God, he KNEW that bringing Lazarus back to life meant that he would leave the perfect peace of Heaven with God. And that was enough to make God cry.
But as always, Jesus was right. The sickness would not END in death and God was glorified through the miracle.
It’s just amazing and mind-boggling to know that not only do I worship a God who is a miracle-worker, but he’s such a friend that he will cry with me when I come to him, fall at his feet and say, “Lord, please help me.”
To the KING!!