The Strength of Tenderness

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John 11:35 “Jesus wept.”

The shortest verse in God’s Word is often overlooked to the power of those two words. Two words in this verse show the strength of Jesus, and yet these two words also show His tenderness.

Jesus received word that his friend, Lazarus, was sick. Instead of immediately coming to help him, Jesus stayed two days in the same place where he was when he received the word ministering to those in that place. After two days, he told his disciples that he needed to go to Judaea because Lazarus had died. Martha met Jesus on the way to her house and asked the Master why He had not come earlier because she knew that if Jesus had come, Lazarus would not have died. When Mary saw Jesus, she also replied to Him in the same manner that Martha had by saying, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” The grief of these two sisters was great, and yet they still were not angry with Jesus. When Jesus saw their grief, it was then that He wept.

The fact that Jesus wept shows the strength, tenderness, and care that Jesus has for all. Jesus was not just a regular preacher; He is the Creator of the Universe. It was the Creator who wept for Mary and Martha. When we look at who Jesus is, it only shows the greatness of our Saviour. Jesus was more than a prophet, but He is the resurrection and the life; He is the eternal Word whose promise never fails. Jesus is the omnipotent God who created the stars of the heavens and hung the sun as the light of the world. Jesus’ omnipotence made the mighty oceans and seas, and created the mighty Redwoods of northern California. It was the omnipotence of God that created the majestic Tetons and Rockies and it was His omnipotence the breathed life into the soul of mankind. When you think of Jesus, it is not hard to see what Mary and Martha knew in that He had the power to stop death from taking Lazarus’ life.

However, the great truth of this verse is that “Jesus wept.” Imagine, Omnipotence stopped to care for two ladies who had lost their brother. It was the strength of Omnipotence that wept and grieved with these two sisters. No, weeping was not the weakness of Christ, but the strength of Christ. It was the ability of Christ to know His power, and yet His tenderness to weep when others were hurting. To think that Omnipotence would stop and weep when He had a world to run only reveals the tender care that God has for His own.

The same Omnipotent Christ who stopped to weep with Mary and Martha also cares for you in your troubles that you carry today. You may think that nobody truly cares for you, but God cares for you. You may think that God has not noticed what you are going through, but you can be assured that the unchanging God who wept with Mary and Martha cares about your problems today. Whatever you are facing today, you are not facing it alone because God notices your problems, and He cares enough to help you through them.

My friend, let the shortest verse in God’s Word be a source of encouragement for you. Let it remind you of the power of the Saviour who saved your soul from Hell, but let it also remind you of His tenderness and care for those who are His children. The fact that Omnipotence would care for you should comfort you in whatever you face, and it should encourage you that He will help you in your time of need if you will trust Him.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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