20th May 2019

A Window into the Heart of God

“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept…Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.”
John 11:32-35, 38 (NIV)

Jesus had deliberately waited before responding to the calls for help from Martha and Mary to save their brother, and in the meantime Lazarus had died. Mary was weeping and their friends were weeping. John tells us that Jesus wept too and that he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

The IVP commentary explains that the phrase ‘he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled’ is common among English translations, but it does not do justice to the language. The word for deeply moved can be used of snorting in animals, and in humans refers to anger and to bellow with anger. The second word, ‘troubled’ is literally ‘troubled himself.’ So a better translation could be ‘became angry in spirit and agitated.’

Warfield’s commentary expands that thought and says: “the spectacle of the distress of Mary and her companions enraged Jesus because it brought home to his consciousness the evil of death, its unnaturalness, its ‘violent tyranny.’ In Mary’s grief he sees and feels the misery of the whole race, and burns with rage against the oppressor of men. It is death that is the subject of his wrath, and behind death, him who has the power of death and whom he had come into the world to destroy.”

We know that God does not change—scripture says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Whatever we suffer and whatever pain we are in, we need to remember that Jesus’ timeless tears of sorrow still wet our world, and that cry of rage against the ultimate pain of death can still be heard in every corner of the universe.

Loving Saviour, may we never forget the depths of your compassion and care for us, or your grief and anger at all that stands in the way of our life with you.

Study by Hilary Buck

About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes.
Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The House of Friendship
208 High Street

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

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