Daily Readings in John – Day Thirty-Seven - Reservoir Church
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Daily Readings in John – Day Thirty-Seven

November 23, 2017

John 11:28-36

28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

In our last entry, we met one sister – Martha, the practical one, the gracious one, and the theological one. Martha then gets her sister Mary, whose grief is thicker than Martha’s, it appears. On Meyers-Briggs terms, for those of you that know your personality assessments, Mary is an NF – perceiving the world more through intuition than data, and making decisions that are influenced more strongly by her feeling than her thinking. I’m an “NF” too, so I get Mary. Jesus seems to get her too. In fact, he’s unusually responsive to her.

They are close enough, or Jesus is so compassionate, that his psychological mirroring function kicks in strongly and he feels what she feels. Soon her grief becomes his, and Jesus too is weeping.

In many translations, verse 35 is just a two word sentence: Jesus wept. It’s famously the shortest verse in the Bible and maybe one of the more significant.

Cate Nelson gave a stunning sermon on this passage at Reservoir this fall, and I will simply repeat her insight in brief. Jesus weeps out of the sadness of God, that shares our pain and mourns the pain and loss of hurt and death. And Jesus weeps out of the anger of God, that sees death – in all its literal and metaphorical forms – as a violation of the good world God made and the flourishing life that God is recreating in the world.


Where is Jesus weeping with you today? Where is Jesus’ sadness or anger active that you can perceive? Try asking Jesus. What does this mean to you?