Summary: Jesus wept....but do you know why? Presented at Thanksgiving as a look of why we should be thankful that we follow a God that would weep.
This morning it’s going to sound like I’m only speaking to the men here, but I think we can all learn something today.
Question of the day….How many `Real Men’ are out there today? Come on….show of hands. Now how are you determining if you are a Real man? When you were young, was it how hard you could hit….how well you could take a punch? Or now as you are older….how many girls you kissed or had sex with? How much booze you could drink….what kind of car you drove…how much money you had….or how tough you thought you were?
Men typically judge themselves and each other by these standards as well as others. It’s sort of a macho club they think they must belong to. Capitalizing on this ideology in the early 80’s, author Bruce Feirstein book, ’Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche’, introduced us to Flex Crush, a 225 pound nuclear waste driver who claimed to be one of the last Real Men in existence. After eating a breakfast that would normally feed 4 men, Flex is quoted as saying…
" We’ve become a nation of wimps, Pansies, and Quiche eaters. Alan Alda types - who cook and clean and relate to their wives."
Flex went on to say that there were only two types of men in the world today…Those who eat quiche and those that don’t. He followed with a list of things that Real men don’t do:
* Real Men eat meat and potatoes.
* Real Men hunt big game.
* Real Men bust broncos.
* Real Men don’t know how to cook.
* Real Men don’t cry.
* Real Men don’t feel things like sorrow, pity, love, warmth, and sincerity.
* Real Men do not relate to anything. They do not have meaningful dialogues. They do not talk about personal space and shared experiences.
* Real Men realize that while birds, flowers, poetry, and small children do not add up to the quality of life in quite the same manner as a Super Bowl and six-pack of Bud, he’s learned to appreciate them anyway.
* Above all else…Real men Don’t eat quiche
Well now…. Confession time……My name is Dean Kennedy…..and I’m a quiche eater.
And I want you to be a quiche eater too.
And I’ll let you know a secret. Not only do I eat quiche….but I help make them too.
But what really is a ’Real man’?.. Summed up in one verse.
John 11:35 Jesus Wept
Two little words that pack a wallop. You’ve heard the saying about walk softly and carry a big stick…..Well this is God’s big stick.
Most of the time that you hear of this verse, it usually associated with trivia being that it’s the shortest verse in the Bible. But rarely is much more said about it. Do you even know why Jesus wept.? Sure you know it has to deal with the raising of Lazarus from the dead…but do you know why he wept? This is one of only two times that it is recorded that Jesus wept…but do you know why he wept? Jesus knew what the outcome was going to be, the raising of Lazarus….so why did he weep?
Why he Wept
This is the crux of our message today. We’re going discuss why Jesus wept, though John was never specific as to why. But more importantly, this being the Sunday before thanksgiving, we are going to discover why we should be thankful that we have a God that will weep for us. Contrary to what the 80’s mantra was….Real Men do cry.
So let’s start off with a little background to the story. Jesus and his disciples were out preaching in the villages beyond Jordan. When they received word that Lazarus was very sick. Now Lazarus wasn’t just a casual acquaintance but someone, along with his two sisters Martha and Mary, that Jesus was real fond of and spent much time with whenever possible. So naturally one would assume that Jesus would rush right back to his bedside…do the little touching thing and heal his friend. Oh but what limited minds we have…..You know the new term "thinking outside of the box" that everyone seems to be using now…..well it’s not new…this is what Jesus was doing. Jesus waited two days before start heading back. Jesus knew he was going to be dead long before he got there. He was going outside the box to turn a ordinary healing into a miracle.
He even sent word back to the family that it will be for God’s Glory that he doesn’t return yet.. Now I doubt if that made Lazarus or his sisters feel any better knowing that his sickness was going to provide the stuff for a great sermon illustration. I assume that Mary and Martha were figuring that Jesus was really dissing their brother and blowing if off because it was just something God was going to use for his Glory.