Friday 20 Apr 2018
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John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus Wept - Why Jesus Wept

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Article Index
Jesus Wept
Bethany the platform for glory
Why Jesus Wept
Moved in spirit and troubled; the reasons why
It is not too late neither is it too grave for God to handle
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Why Jesus Wept

If Jesus did not weep because of Lazarus’s death, what then moved him to tears you may ask?

The reason why Jesus wept became clearer when he got to Bethany and the place where Lazarus was buried. The first thing that struck him was that although they had sent for him, nevertheless they had committed the body of Lazarus to the grave. Although they were expecting the Messiah, they were not ready to wait for him to come to them; they had made up their mind that the case of Lazarus was beyond redemption even before the Messiah has had the opportunity to intervene. Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, this should never be so, it is never over until God says so. This will be revealed to us through this exposition. A number of people have buried their dreams and given up on God without giving him the time or opportunity to move on their behalf. Although many are calling on God to intervene in their case, their position is not different from that of Lazarus family, who even though the Messiah told them he was coming in answer to their plea to come and heal the one he loved so much, but their lack of faith made them to succumb to the report that stared them in the face. What report? The report that said it was over for their brother Lazarus.

Back to Bethany, when the news of the coming of Jesus got to the sisters, Martha was the one who immediately went out to meet him and almost immediately she revealed what she thought of Jesus. What she said revealed what she believed about in Jesus, you see as far as she was concerned Jesus came too late. Oh she knew that Jesus could heal the sick, she knew Jesus could make the lame to walk and make the blind to see as well as cast demons out of those who were possessed.  Much like many believers of today who revel in the act of quoting the bible in order to show their knowledge of the word, she knew all the right things to say about Jesus and the right way to say them. She showed all the right enthusiasm and excitement that a number of us show today when we hear the word or when at worship In addition she claimed to believe, just like many believers who never waste time in declaring they believe, if only her belief could be translated to action. Let us follow the event more closely.

To start with, Martha’s first remark surprised me;

“If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even God will give you whatever you ask”

When Martha declared she knew God would grant to Jesus whatever he asked for, anyone listening would have thought wow what a faith and would be impressed by the knowledge she displayed about God and Christ, it would be easy to conclude as a result that Martha spoke from the depth of her convictions about who the Lord was. The question for her to answer perhaps would be, why then did they not wait for Jesus to come before committing their brother to the grave? But Jesus knew Martha better, he knew her to be superficial and too eager to please by saying and doing the right things while concealing her real problems.  So he went ahead and prodded her to know the depth of what she professed. Jesus therefore responded by saying;

“Your brother will rise again”

And Martha replied;

“I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day”

Bingo Jesus got the answer that he knew Martha would give, Martha revealed the true picture of what she knew and believed, you see what she believed about Jesus did not include the raising up of Lazarus, for as far as her faith goes, Lazarus was gone until the day of resurrection. It can be said that this was a convenient answer, no one knows what will happen on the day of resurrection, and whatever we know, it is from what we were taught by the word of God and which we cling to by faith-howbeit an untested faith. And in the case of Martha, this was the same very word which was also revealed by Jesus to her as the one who can raise the dead. Many of us faced with Martha was faced with, would also give convenient answers, such as ‘If the Lord wills’, ‘The Lord is able to do it’ or ‘Let the will of God be done’, to mention just a few. You see as far Martha was concerned, although God could give to Jesus whatever Jesus asked, the raising up of Lazarus was not one of them. Her belief in the Messiah had boundaries and limits, just like the faith of  many of us believers today. When we say we believe in Jesus as the Messiah what do we really believe about him? Is he really your Lord? , and is he really your saviour? Do we really believe he is what he says he is or what we have been conditioned to believe about him.  It was convenient for Martha to push what was demanded of her faith to another day in the future, it was convenient for her to kick the bucket down the road; it was the perfect façade to hide her unbelief.

You see when Jesus asked his disciples what the world thought of him, he already knew what the world thought of him, as a matter of fact, this was what actually prompted him to ask them again but this time he wanted to know what was their opinion of him and not one influenced by others.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” - Mathew 16:15.

There was a reason behind this as this was not a question arising from an impulsive action. You see the truth is, Jesus demands that the views of those who are called to be his disciples be different from the views of those who are of the world and do not belong to him. We cannot hold the same view about Jesus which the world holds and yet expect the power of the cross to be of benefit to us.

Let me also add, there are many believers today who are like Martha in many ways, they always have the right word for every occasion. I remember a friend of mine who once told me about the lingo that believers like to throw around these days. We use to have a good banter with some of these words. I was brought up as an Anglican, and quite frankly it was when I joined the Pentecostal community that I got bombarded with these words. Words like ‘deliverance service’, ‘anointing service’, ‘Holy Ghost Night’, ‘Miracle Service’ to mention but a few. There is nothing wrong with these words, except that I have found that to many, these words or phrases have become fanciful words and clichés that are used to let other believers know that they belong. There are those who know how to talk the talk but when it comes to the push and shove like Martha they would easily be exposed as lacking in the substance of faith. There are many who know what the Lord can do but when it comes to applying this knowledge to what they are going through in life, it becomes obvious that what they profess is lacking in deep conviction. This is the picture of Martha that we see from her conversation with Jesus, it is the picture of believers who say one thing about the Lord, but believe something totally different about him.

If Jesus was not surprised by Martha’s lack of faith, the sight of Mary’s hopelessness that confronted him was a worrying one. You see Mary was the one whom the Lord had poured so much into, she was the one that had been prepared for the occasion that was unfolding right before everyone present at the grave of Lazarus. Mary was the one who had been given the privilege to sit at the feet of the Lord and fed with the word of life. She was meant to play the principal role and she was the one of whom the Lord had previously given this testimony about;

Martha the Lord answered,  “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:39 –42).

Therefore when Mary came out to meet the Lord and made the following remark;

“Lord if had been here, my brother would not have died” (John11:32).

Just before you go wondering what is wrong with the remark, the answer is there is a lot wrong with it. You see, this was the same remark which Martha had also made. Mary the one whom the Lord had spent much time with, the one whom the Lord had prepared to be a partaker of the glorious event that was to unfold with the death of her brother, the one whom the Lord had declared as having chosen the only thing that was needful, was in no way better than the unbelieving Martha and the helpless crowd that came to mourn at the tomb of Lazarus. The sight of Mary in this helpless condition and the sight of the helpless crowd was such that, Jesus became deeply moved in spirit and was troubled.

Home Expositions Faith Talk Jesus Wept - Why Jesus Wept
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“?Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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