John 11:35 (NIV)
Beginning the discussion:
“Well, hi, Jay!” I am always happy to hear from my brother who lives several states away.
“There’s going to be a family reunion,” His voice sounded a little strained.
Yes, I know I thought during a pause. The Hilker clan has been planning one for months.
“Yea, uh … ” It sounded like he was about to cry.
“Jay! What’s going on?”
“It’s Matthew. He died this morning in a motorcycle accident when a tire blew out.” Then all I could hear was heartbreaking sobs.
“No!” I felt my throat tightened as tears flooded my eyes. I sat in the nearest chair and cried with my brother.
We all experienced it, or heard of others getting it - and we all definitely fear it: the phone call that changes our immediate priorities; the one that announces a death, or an illness of someone very close to us. And suddenly we’re packing, changing schedules, cancelling appointments, and in the car driving to be part of an unplanned and grieving family reunion - which is what my husband, Bert, and I did this past weekend.
This week we are stepping away from the “Segment-by-Challenging-Segment” series we’re currently memorizing to spend time on John 11:35: Jesus wept.
I’ve heard many interpretations on why Jesus cried at Lazarus’ gravesite. Today, I’m inclined to believe that one of the reasons He wept was because He had compassion for the grieving. I’m thankful God cares deeply about the things we’re going through.
And as we memorize and meditate on this short verse, let’s exercise the practice of showing God’s compassion to the hurting, as we weep with those who weep.
I’d like to offer another verse for Jay and Wendy, their son Trey and his wife Sarah, Jason (Wendy’s brother and close friend of Matthew), my sisters, and Matthew’s friends:
John 14:1-3 (NKJV)
1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Discussion points for John 11:35: Jesus wept:
• When have you felt Jesus weeping with you?
• How has Jesus’ compassion for you helped you weep with others?
To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.