Jesus Wept Many who read


Jesus Wept

Many who read this have been spared the ordeal of Baptist Sunday School. I say ordeal, although at the time I am sure that I enjoyed it, and its effects have remained with me for a very long time. One aspect of this type of Sunday school was verse memorization. You would pick a chapter and verse of scripture and memorize it word for word in the King James (Authorized) Edition. As I said, something of this sort stays with you. However, there were weeks when you didn't have time to memorize, and every so often the verse you came up with was, "Jesus wept." Two words, not particularly difficult to remember. I believe they are found in the gospel of Luke, I forget the citation at this time. But I remember the verse.

One of the reasons I remember it is that it was the first time I realized that events and actions that affect us affect God. God, in fact, loves us so much that He allows Himself to be changed by us. The unchangeable allows Himself to be persuaded, cajoled, petitioned, and ultimately moved by the creation He loves so much. Too often I forget this. Too often in prayer I seem to be talking to a distant God who may or may not have much interest in what I am saying and what is happening to me here and now. What I need to remember at those times is "Jesus wept." Jesus, God incarnate, is moved for his creation. In fact, Jesus weeps over the destruction of Jerusalem that he foresees upon looking at the city. Jesus is moved by pity. Jesus is moved and He is changed by His creation. Not that He must be changed--he could remain as fixed as the center point of the Universe if He so willed. God has the capacity to resist any change or any force. But He allows the force of our lives, our needs, our wants, our love to move Him.

Time and again we see that God grieves with us, or God is moved by us. In the magnificent story of Jonah, God "repents" of His promised destruction of the city of Nineveh when the people of the town showed deep remorse. Jonah, in a fit of pique, wishes himself dead. God comforts him with the growth of a bean plant and then withers it. Jonah, apparently not the most happy of people at the best of times, once again sulks and God gently reminds Him that while Jonah had done nothing for the bean plant, God had thousands of men, women, and children who were utterly dependent upon Him and who acknowledged their dependence. How could He not heed their cries?

Jesus wept. And my guess is, He still weeps for us. As our companion in all of life's difficulties, He weeps for us when we lose someone, not because they are lost--after all, He knows where they are--but because we hurt and He knows the sharpness of that hurt. Jesus rejoices with us when we rejoice. He is our constant companion, our closest and most intimate friend, the Person who loves us best of all. In our sorrow and in our joy, we have the solace and the companionship of the God who deigned to become like us. This God, who could have saved in any way He wished, chose to show how much we meant by becoming one of us. He chose to give us Himself in all humanity so that we could not say He did not understand our problems--for indeed He does.

Jesus wept, and Jesus still weeps and God is still moved by His creation. There is enormous mystery in those words and thoughts. There is great strangeness in that reality. As we mourn, or as we rejoice, we should make an effort to be aware of Jesus who is with us through everything.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 10, 2002 7:53 AM.

Sadness of the State Fair was the previous entry in this blog.

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