Last Sunday, as I was waiting in line to get a hamburger during our Sunday Funday at church, I had a conversation with three people from our Spanish speaking congregation. As we were talking, one by one they began to share difficult challenges they were facing. One has been dealing with severe back pain for weeks, another fell the day before and her whole body was bruised and sore, and the other shared that his son was in the hospital because he was attacked and horribly bitten in the arm by a pitbull. After listening to their stories I ended up feeling emotionally overwhelmed and right there I asked them to allow me to pray for them and their situations. While we were praying, all of a sudden my eyes got watery and soon tears were rolling down my face. I kept praying, but if I’m honest, in my mind I was concerned about crying in public and I began to feel ashamed. You see, in my culture “los hombres no lloran (men don’t cry)”, as if we don’t have permission to feel. But praise God that Jesus is not Mexican like me.

With that said, I don’t know if it was normal or not for Jewish men to cry in public in Jesus’ days, but what I do know is Jesus wept (John 11:35). This truth is extremely significant because it reminds us we worship a God who feels. I don’t know about you, but I’m encouraged to know the second Person of the Triune God, our Lord Jesus Christ, empathizes with us when we experience pain. John 11:35 is certainly the shortest verse from the Bible, yet it highlights the humanity of our Savior. When Lazarus died, Jesus wept in the company of his sisters Martha and Mary. Jesus was not indifferent to what they were going through. Instead, in a very sincere and vulnerable way Jesus felt the pain of these two sisters, and He grieved the effect of mankind’s sin: death (Rom. 6:23). By doing this, Jesus purposely displayed the glory of His Father, the glory of a compassionate and loving God, and a glory available to us. In Jesus we have a Savior who sympathizes with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15) and a God who feels our pain.

Lazarus’ story didn’t end there. After Jesus wept, He did something for Lazarus that no one else has the power to do, but that’s a topic for a different day. Today, I would like us to focus on the fact that Jesus wept when He saw the suffering of His friends, as well as to consider imitating His empathy without being ashamed. The Bible says in Romans 12:15, “weep with those who weep”. In other words, it is expected of us to give permission to ourselves to feel the pain of others. After all, we might not have the power to raise people from the dead, but we can definitely display the glory of God by being compassionate to those going through pain. Have a blessed day.

Pastor Esteban Tapia
En Español Pastor

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