Weekly Devotion with Kim Wu
Jesus wept. He wept for and with Mary and Martha. He wept for Lazarus who was buried in a tomb.
When you think about it, His weeping makes little sense to us. In just a few minutes, Jesus would be raising Lazarus from the dead, and there would be great rejoicing. Jesus knew this was going to happen, so why weep?
Because Jesus entered into their pain and suffering, and felt what they felt. Even though He knew those feelings would last only a short time – a matter of minutes – He opened His heart to their grief. He does the same for us. He is perfect love personified. That’s who Jesus is. The real Jesus. Not the Americanized Jesus, as Pastor Will mentioned in his sermon on Sunday. Not the Republican Jesus. Not the Democrat Jesus. Just Jesus.
How do you reveal this Jesus to others? Do you offer the ministry of your presence to those who are experiencing sadness and grief? What about those who are angry? Anger usually hides underlying hurt. Are you offering the ministry of meeting people more than halfway, even for those you don’t want to offer this to?
The story of the death of Lazarus reveals another important part of Jesus’ ministry: the ministry of truth. “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Timothy Keller, in a sermon he preached in New York City less than a week after 9/11, says Jesus offers this ministry not as a consolation, not a “someday I will take you away from all this.” The resurrection will be more like waking from a bad dream.
Do you know that first minute when you awake from a nightmare, and you are filled with elation that all you went through in the nightmare was untrue? That is what the resurrection offers us. The bad things that happen to us will be incorporated in such a way that the glory will be made even better.
Keller also shared a quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, that reflects on the power of the new heaven and the new earth that Jesus offers. “…in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”
Jesus asks Martha if she believes in Jesus. In who He is and what He offers to her and everyone else. Resurrection and eternal life. Out of the cross will come resurrection. Out of our suffering will come glory. Out of our weakness will come strength. Do you believe? Not just with your head, but with your whole heart?
The ministry of truth. The ministry of presence. The ministry of meeting people more than halfway. Participating in those ministries with Jesus is how we reveal Him to the world.