"JESUS WEPT"

John 11:35

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)



"Jesus wept."–John xi. 35.

My soul! look at thy Redeemer in this account of him. Was there ever a more interesting portrait than what the evangelist hath here drawn of the Son of God? If the imagination were to be employed forever in forming an interesting scene of the miseries of human nature, what could furnish so complete a picture as these two words give of Christ, at the sight of them? "Jesus wept." Here we have at once the evidence how much the miseries of our nature affected the heart of Jesus; and here we have the most convincing testimony, that he partook of all the sinless infirmities of our nature, and was truly, and in all points, man, as well as God. We are told by one of the ancient writers (as well as I recollect, it was St. Chrysostom) that some weak but injudicious christians in his days, were so rash as to strike this verse out of their bibles, from an idea, that it was unsuitable and unbecoming in the Son of God to weep. But we have cause to bless the over-ruling providence of God, that though they struck it out from their bibles, they did it not from ours. It is blessed to us to have it preserved, for it affords one of the most delightful views we can possibly have of the affectionate heart of Jesus, in feeling for the sorrows of his people. And methinks, had they judged aright, they would have thought, that if it were unsuitable or unbecoming in Jesus to weep, it would have been more so to put on the appearance of it. And why those groans at the grave of Lazarus, if tears were improper? Precious Lord! how refreshing is it to my soul the consideration, that, "Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, thou likewise didst take part of the same; that in all things it behoved thee to be made like to thy brethren!" Hence, when my poor heart is afflicted, when Satan storms, or the world frowns, when sickness in myself, or when under bereaving providences for my friends, "all thy waves and storms seem to go over me;" Oh, what relief is it, to know that Jesus looks on, and sympathizes! Then do I say to myself, will not Jesus, who wept at the grave of Lazarus, feel for me? Shah I look up to him, and look up in vain? Did Jesus, when upon earth, know what those exercises were; and was his precious soul made sensible of distresses even to tears; and will he be regardless of what! feel, and the sorrows under which I groan? Oh no! the sigh that bursts in secret from my heart, is not secret to him; the tear that on my night couch, drops unperceived and unknown to the world, is known and numbered by him. Though now exalted at the right hand of power, where he hath wiped away all tears from off all faces, yet he himself still retains the feelings and the character of "the man of sorrows, and of one well acquainted with grief." Help me, Lord, thus to look up to thee, and thus to remember thee! Oh! that blessed scripture; "In all their afflictions, he was afflicted; and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old," Isa. lxiii. 9.

From THE POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.