I was pretty young when I learned of this verse. According to my elementary school classmates, it was the shortest verse in the Bible.
I don’t remember whether I looked up the verse at the time. Most likely, I looked for an opportunity to show off my newfound knowledge to some unsuspecting classmate who hadn’t yet been looped into the classroom information chain.
Knowing this information made me feel smart. A lot of learning is like that. As I get older, looking smart becomes less important to me. Instead, I’d like to be wise – living a life that takes knowledge and applies it well.
What would that look like as I revisit the shortest verse in the Bible?
Looking the verse up in John 11:35, we find Jesus standing in front of the tomb of his friend Lazarus, who had recently died. He stood there, and he cried.
Why did he do that?
I don’t mean to sound callous about his tears. His friend died. That is sad.
I can’t help but wonder, though – when Lazarus died, couldn’t Jesus of all people have skipped over the grief part? Surely the God who is ever hopeful, fully tapped into the fountain of joy and the peaceful waters, and clearly knowing what he was about to do wouldn’t need to give in to sadness, right? I mean, if the situation was about to be drastically improved, why cry?
Is it possible that Jesus saw something beautiful in acknowledging the loss? I can’t help but wonder if His honest expression of sadness was at least partly what paved the way for the miracle.
Jesus, in His humanity, cried. But that’s not all.
Jesus, in His divinity, did something about the loss.
He is still in this business today.
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