Summary: The 34th sermon in a series we're doing on John's Gospel. In this particular sermon we look at the shortest verse in the Bible, and we discuss why Jesus wept. We examine sin and it's effects, and how Jesus is the answer to our sin problem.
Jesus Wept (Gospel of John Part 34)
Text: John 11:28-44
So; if you remember from last time, Jesus had just spoken with Martha, and Martha was strengthened in her faith and she ended up making an amazing confession of faith in Jesus. And she left Him, in order to go get her sister Mary. And that’s where we pick back up this morning, and I want to get right into it, so please take your Bible and open them to the Gospel of John, chapter 11… John 11:28-44 (READ).
So Martha heads back home and tells her sister Mary that Jesus is nearby and that He’s calling for her. And you notice that Martha does this in private… that’s what verse 28 tells us; that she privately told Mary, “The Teacher is here, and is calling for you.” And we know why she would do that right? Last time Jesus was in this region, the Jews picked up stones and wanted to kill Him. So Martha is trying to keep this on the down low. She’s not wanting to cause a scene, and alert the enemies of Jesus, that He’s back in the area. And let me just say that sometimes… often times… discretion is the wise course of action. Not everyone needs to know every little detail of your life. Especially CERTAIN kinds of people. Now make sure you understand me. There’s a time to confide in others. People who are mature in their faith, and trustworthy, and who genuinely care about you. But often times, and among certain kinds of people, folks are just looking for drama, looking to interject themselves into things that they have no business, and no ability to deal with. Misery loves company, and drama loves its queens. Martha; being the older sister, being the more rational and logical of the two gets that and understands it, and tries to use discretion here. Unfortunately; Mary doesn’t pick up on the cue. She immediately jumps up and heads out the door.
Now; we can’t really blame Mary for this. She’s distraught. She’s upset. She’s just lost her brother. And she desperately wants to see Jesus. And again; there’s a principle there. When you’re grieving, when you’re suffering, when you’re going through something hard. Let’s be honest, often times, you don’t think clearly. You don’t think things through all the way. You need good counsel, and close friends. And again; I’ll say it, friends who are mature Christians who have your best interest at heart. Who will speak truth to you, in love.
Anyway… Mary gets up, she heads out the door and goes to Jesus. And if you remember; Jesus is probably on the outskirts of town, probably near the tombs. They didn’t put the tombs in town because of ritual purity laws. The tombs and cemeteries were usually, in most cases outside of town. That’s probably where Jesus is. And that’s where Mary was headed. And the crowds see her get up, and leave the house, and they think she’s going to the tombs to weep and mourn her brother there. So what do they do? Do they give her a little space and privacy? NOPE. They all get up and follow her.
Now why did they do that?
Well… there are probably some there who are really concerned about Mary. True friends. But I’d be willing to be that there were also some who were just there for the drama. It’s just the way that people are… some people watch NASCAR for the skill and competition, and some watch for the crashes. Some people watch the UFC because of the athletic talent, the skills and techniques of the fighters, and others just want to see knock outs. So just understanding human nature; there are probably some of these people who genuinely care about Mary, and then there are some who are secretly hoping she freaks out and causes a scene. And thinking through all of this is important when it comes to understanding what we see happen later on in the text. And we’ll get to that in a few minutes.
So Mary comes to Jesus, and she says the EXACT same thing that her sister Martha said earlier. “Jesus if You had been here, my brother would still be alive.” Now what she does different than Martha is that Mary falls at the feet of Jesus. In other words, Mary is overcome with grief and despair...
Put yourself in her shoes for a second… maybe you’ve been there… to that point where you’re overwhelmed? Where all you can do… and I mean ALL you can do is fall at the feet of Jesus.
This is an emotional scene. It’s real. It should tear at your heart. If you’ve been there you know what I’m saying. Mary’s world is upside down.