Thursday, October 14, 2021

What Jesus Feels for What We Feel

Yesterday morning, my heavenly Father invited me to enter the stage he had set for discovering how Jesus his Son relates to his loved ones who are grieving.[1] I have been in this section of his word for about a week, so the next scene I have come to begins like this: 

“Now when Mary came to where Jesus was…” 

A man named Lazarus had died. Jesus had come to the hometown where this happened and had already met with and comforted Martha, one of the sisters. Martha had gone to get her sister Mary, directing her to where Jesus was waiting to talk with her. 

As I enter the scene and see how Mary “came to where Jesus was,” I consider how this is part of the picture for me. Yes, there are times when the Good Shepherd comes to his sheep to save them out of their latest tangle in the brambles. However, this scenario was one where someone had to come to Jesus. This is simply a thing, that sometimes I have no right to expect him to come to me; I must come to him. 

“and saw him…” 

I could picture Mary taking one step after another, not seeing Jesus with one step, still not seeing him with another, and suddenly there was that last step where it could be said that she now “saw him”. Every step but the last one was not being with Jesus yet. 

This made me think of what it looks like in my life when I am expected to take steps to go to Jesus when it will only be the last one that brings me to him. I will not see him in many steps the Father leads me to take in the right direction, but I am to take those steps knowing that there will be a last one where I see him and can be with him in whatever the Father is doing. 

“she fell at his feet…” 

At first, I read into this that Mary was worshiping Jesus, something that I am sure was involved. However, as I considered the emotional state Mary was in grieving the death of her brother, I suddenly saw a woman overcome with the weariness of her grief, drained of strength in the way that only sorrow can do, and when she reaches the Savior she had trusted in, she fell at his feet as a helpless child. 

This also was an invitation for me to be as helpless in my overwhelming sorrow as Mary was with hers. 

“saying to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” 

This was easy to attach to. How many things have happened in my life that felt like someone or something died and Jesus did not come in time to heal the situation, or save the relationship, or give life to a dream. Mary’s words are God’s invitation for me to grieve with her all the things that have been lost because Jesus hadn’t been there. 

“When Jesus saw her weeping…” 

John had already written that Mary saw Jesus; now he adds that Jesus saw Mary. This has been a slow lesson for me to learn, that my time with God each morning, even in my seasons of grief, are characterized by Jesus seeing me and knowing what I am going through. 

“and the Jews who had come with her also weeping…” 

Both immaturity and grief tend to isolate people so we think only of what is going on with us and our Savior. However, Jesus was always relating to his individual children in connection with others. No matter how lonely and isolated we feel, Jesus sees the different degrees of grief that are on the stage (or in each church scenario) so we can see how Jesus responded to everyone. 

“he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” 

Jesus was overwhelmed with weeping with those who weep so that he was having trouble holding back his emotions. That is what the description means, that Jesus was having difficulty holding back the flood of emotions he was feeling in relation to the people who were grieving. I’m certainly not done meditating on that!   

In this present journey, God is surprising me with what he wants me to share with him of my griefs and sorrows. Even though I know he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, that only makes it all the more amazing that he set the stage so he would be able to first attach to his loved ones in their grief. 

Jesus truly is both, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” and, “the Resurrection and the Life”. He clearly wants me to know him in every multi-faceted expression of his glory. You are invited to do the same.

© 2021 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] John 11

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