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Compassion

Description

God gave us a perfect model for unconditional love and compassion in Christ.

Passages: John 11:1–11:57 & Proverbs 8

For some, it is easy to grasp the Lordship of God. We can approach Him with reverence and awe, soaking in His majesty, full of thankfulness. We may even start to conceive the weight of His grace that He has lavished upon us. We know that we are wretched and hopeless in our sin. We know that He died for us. But for many of us, we fail to receive the fact that He loves us. The fact that God cares about the trite and mundane events in our day to day lives is inconceivable at times.  But in truth, God gave us a perfect model for unconditional love and compassion through Christ. We find this modeled in John 11.

In this passage, Lazarus has died, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, are mourning Him. Before Lazarus dies, Jesus declares that the sickness will not end in death. Jesus knows the outcome of the events from the beginning. When Jesus approaches the sisters He is moved by their weeping. Then perhaps one of the most overlooked and astounding verses in the Bible occurs.

John 11:35: “Jesus wept.”

Jesus is not weeping because He is sad about Lazarus. He knows that He is about to resurrect Lazarus. The Jews that followed Mary to see Jesus don’t understand either. They think He is simply mourning, as well.

Jesus is feeling what Mary is feeling. He is overwhelmed with compassion for Mary for the pain of her loss. He is filled with love for her to the point that the reality of what is about to happen concerning Lazarus does not prevent Him from mourning alongside Mary (See Romans 12:15).

In this simple verse, we are able to see in a dramatic way that God feels alongside us at the same depth that we do. We see that even in His sovereignty, He does not cast a cynical eye upon our human affairs. He shows Himself far more capable of love and compassion for us than we are for ourselves.

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