However, one of the things we learn from this passage is that tears are not like a water facet where we can turn them on and turn them off. Our emotions are so much more complex – as with Jesus, whose own heart was in God and God’s heart in him, (John 15:4) and whose own life was affected by what others said and did – as when he saw the hungry masses and responded out of compassion (Matthew 9:36), or as when he responded in anger to other religious leaders (Matthew 23:13-15).
But Jesus also responded by what others did not say or do as well: as when folks did not display compassion (Luke 10:25-37), or as when they did not see the presence of God’s kingdom among the least of these, our brothers and sisters (Matthew 25:40). Jesus wept.
There is in the Scriptures the portrait of a God whose love is very much in tune with the hurts and sorrows of the people and with the disobedience of the nation too. There is weeping when the innocent suffer (Luke 23:28); and there is weeping when justice is not carried out (2 Samuel 24:1); and there is weeping when the poor are not treated with dignity (Leviticus 19:31-34), or when the stranger is welcomed with respect (Hebrews 12:3).
This is a familiar theme in the Bible.
Indeed, the prophet Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet” because he sees how lost his own nation had become, and in this own way, he gave voice to God’s own sorrow over God’s judgment to come. His tears were ones of sadness in that his very own people could not hear God’s call to obedience and faith. Jeremiah wept too (Jeremiah 1:1-15).
Is God weeping today? How are we to weep with those who weep as well?
Pastor Andy Kinsey