Daily Devotionals

Tuesday, January 4

Then Jesus wept. John 11:35

You might notice that the verse for today is short. We did this on purpose. You have probably heard the saying, “actions speak louder than words.” This sentiment reminds us that we can say the right things, but our actions prove our words. For example, we can talk about how much we care about someone, but our actions show that we care. When Jesus came to earth, He not only talked about His love and care for His people, He showed it by His actions. He also cares for you and me today.

In John chapter 11, Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus, died. His sisters, also friends of Jesus, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus when Lazarus was sick, hoping that Jesus would come to heal him. Jesus waited two days to go to see Lazarus, and by the time He arrived, His friend had died. We know now that Jesus delayed his visit because He would show His power by raising Lazarus from the dead, but Mary and Martha did not know this. Jesus’ delay hurt them. Both sisters questioned Jesus’ delay, telling Him that their brother would not have died if He had come sooner. When Martha questioned Him, Jesus gave her hope. “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus said (verse 23). When Mary questioned Jesus, He had a different response. You see, because this time, He did not have eloquent words. Instead, He wept (verse 35). He did not just get teary-eyed or cry a little bit. He wept. Can you imagine the moment? Jesus, the Son of God, wept at His friends' pain and grief. He wept, fully knowing the final plan that He would raise Lazarus from the dead. Yet, at the moment, He saw His friends’ pain and wept openly. 

What difficulty are you facing today? Maybe you have recently received a phone call that no one wants to answer. Maybe you just received the test results no one wants to hear. Perhaps you have recently found yourself in the waiting room at the hospital, helplessly waiting and praying for your loved one. Maybe you are struggling with a broken relationship, wondering why everything seems to be falling apart around you. Let me assure you that God is with you. He is with you in your pain and feels it with you.

Moving Toward Action

My friend, when you face your trials and hardships, you must know that you are not alone. God is with you, feeling your pain and sadness. He cares deeply for you, and He will never leave your side. Spend some time being reminded of this truth by listening to the song I am not Alone by Kari Jobe. As you listen, be encouraged that God is always with you in your pain.

Going Deeper

John 11:1-44 (NLT)

A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”

Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.

So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”

When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him.

Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”