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Presentation 42. Introduction Spurgeon, the famous Victorian preacher said that it was impossible for the preacher to exhaust the meaning of the shortest.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation 42. Introduction Spurgeon, the famous Victorian preacher said that it was impossible for the preacher to exhaust the meaning of the shortest."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Introduction Spurgeon, the famous Victorian preacher said that it was impossible for the preacher to exhaust the meaning of the shortest verse in the Bible. And that verse is v35, “Jesus wept”. These words form a small but important window into the character of Jesus. The Lord's humanity is seen in his emotions. At times he was angry denouncing the hypocrisy of his day. Jesus also showed pity, as he looked out on the multitudes whom he described as "sheep without a shepherd." All of these speak of his humanity but surely none as powerfully as this text. Jesus wept! Presentation 42

4 Truly A Man Other passages reveal Jesus full humanity. We read that Jesus hungered. Jesus also knew thirst. On one occasion, he was wearied with his journey. One time he was so tired that he fell asleep in a wildly rocking boat, and even the wind and waves failed to rouse him. The fact that Jesus wept teaches us that Jesus experienced grief as we do. Isaiah prophesied that he would be, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” Isa Whatever our grief may be, Jesus knows of it and has entered into it. We read earlier in v 33 that Jesus was "deeply moved in spirit and troubled". He groaned with the sisters in deep emotion, emotion out of which an involuntary cry was wrung from his heart. Presentation 42

5 Truly A Man Some Christians say that the grief of others does not adequately explain the tears of Jesus and that it is death itself - the consequence of sin entering the world - that caused his tears. But the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. One writer says, “The expression used implies that he now voluntarily and deliberately accepts and makes his own the emotion and the experience from which it is his purpose to deliver men.” And again, “He... gathered up into his own personality all the misery resulting from sin, represented in a dead man and broken-hearted people round him.” Presentation 42

6 Truly A Man What does all this mean? It means that Jesus was acquainted with grief, as we are, that he understands it and is therefore able to comfort those who sorrow. It is not an insensitive, unmovable Christ that the Christian gospel commends but One who has entered into our grief and who understands our sorrows. Are you suffering? He knows it. Are you in tears? He has been there before you. Are you distressed? So was he. But he went on to overcome these things so that we might overcome them. Meanwhile, he is One who understands you and to whom you may come with your hurts. Presentation 42

7 Not Ashamed Thirdly, this verse teaches us that Jesus was not ashamed to be human. He could have repressed his tears rather than giving vent to them. He could have said, "If I show tears, my tears will be misunderstood and taken as a sign of weakness." Indeed, this is exactly how some in the crowd reacted, for it is what they meant when they said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” v.37. They interpreted his tears as a confession that he could do nothing! Presentation 42

8 Not Ashamed Again, Jesus could have argued that it was foolish to cry when he was just about to raise Lazarus - "Why weep now for in a few minutes everyone will be rejoicing.” The sisters and their friends were weeping and if they were weeping, he would weep with them. Jesus knew how the story would end but in the meantime he was not ashamed to be one with his brethren. We can easily apply this truth. Neither you nor I need be ashamed of being human. Tears are not a sign of weakness and we can rightly weep in times of great sorrow. In fact, tears can be a form of obedience to God for we are told to "weep with them that weep" Rom. 12:15. Presentation 42

9 Identified With Others Fourthly, Jesus could have remained aloof but instead, Jesus identified with his friends. Why are Christians slow at times to do this? Are we strong in denouncing sin but weak at identifying with sinners? Are you disturbed by the declining morality in our nation? We are right to be disturbed. But when we denounce the moral sewer around us, do not fail to weep for those who are sucked into it. Are you troubled by the traffic in habit-forming drugs? Good! Then fight it with every weapon at your disposal. But as you strike out against drugs do not forget to weep for the victims of drug abuse. Presentation 42

10 Identified With Others Os Guinness, in his impressive book, ‘The Dust of Death,’ points to the example of Moses, who somehow recognised that his destiny was to be the liberator of the Jewish people. On the first occasion he attempted to liberate them it was from a position of privilege and superiority, and he was a failure. He was a member of the household of Pharaoh. He killed an Egyptian, who had been beating an Israelite but, when he came back the next day, he was rejected by the very people he was trying to help. “Who made you a prince and a judge over us?” Exod. 2v14 was their question. Presentation 42

11 Identified With Others Years later, however, after he had turned his back on the wealth and privilege that was his as a member of Pharaoh’s family and chose “to suffer affliction with his people" Heb. 11:25, Moses was able to identify with them, to share their hunger, danger, and problems. And they followed him. And so, Guinness concludes, "It is when Christians have at least partially entered into the profundity of identification that the Christian community has been at its most human and most sensitive and that its message has been most credible and compelling." Presentation 42

12 Identified With Others That is how the Salvation Army made such an impact in the slums of Victorian Britain. There is no shortage of examples of people communicating the gospel by getting their hands dirty and identifying with people at their point of greatest need. Jesus touched lepers in a day when the respectably religious crossed the street to avoid them. He accepted invitations to eat with the great unwashed of society. He broke cultural and religious taboos to speak to a Samaritan woman in great need. And here he identified with people in their grief and so must we. Presentation 42

13 Jesus’ Love Finally, the fact that Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus also teaches us that he loves. This is what the people of Christ's day saw in his tears; for they commented, “See how he loved him!” v36. Did Jesus love Lazarus before that? Of course he did! He also loved Mary and Martha and all the others. But it was his tears that actually got through to at least some of them and convinced them of his love. They knew that he loved when they saw him weep with the sisters over Lazarus. Presentation 42

14 Jesus’ Love Perhaps you are one who has heard the gospel? You have heard it presented doctrinally and experientially and in every way the preachers and teachers of Scripture know how to present it. But it has all remained at a distance from you. It has remained a theory that has never touched your heart. Well, is there not something in the picture of a weeping Christ that reaches out to you? He is God, yet he became man, and entered into the full gamut of human suffering before dying on the cross for your salvation. Presentation 42

15 Jesus’ Love If this cannot reach you, what can? If this does not move you, do not pretend that you are moved by anything else. You can choose to serve yourself. Meet your own needs. Prepare yourself for that place, far from God's presence, where no one will ever be moved to tears for anyone. But if, on the other hand, this does move you, then do as countless millions have done. Come to Christ. Believe on him as your loving and gracious Saviour. And follow him. Presentation 42

16 Jesus’ Love There is application too for the committed Christian. Does not this picture of the weeping Christ challenge your own cold indifference toward the lost and failure to share the gospel with them. Our hearts are cold! Can we admit that? But there is in Christ an eternal flame of true love that will rekindle our hearts if we but expose ourselves to it. We may sing in our worship services lines from hymns like; “May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea.” Do we mean it? Presentation 42

17 Conclusion Do we love Jesus enough to show love to other people? Do you love him enough to make time to share the gospel with family, friends and neighbours who do not know him? Do you love Jesus enough to serve those whose life is in a mess and who are desperate for someone to empathise and step into their situation and show genuine, loving concern? Perhaps you think that you cannot make a difference? You certainly can. An old man, walking along the beach one dawn, noticed a boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. He asked the boy what he was doing… Presentation 42

18 Conclusion The boy explained he was afraid the stranded starfish would die if left under the morning sun. "But the beach goes on for miles," said the man. "What difference will it make? There are so many starfish that nothing you can do will matter." As the boy picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, he said quietly, "It matters to this one." It may take years of personal contact, costly service and persevering prayer to see just one person come to faith. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are wasting your time and that you cannot make a difference. Jesus was prepared to experience the ridicule and criticism of others as he came to the aid of his friend Lazarus and his sisters. Presentation 42


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