Two Big Words
"Jesus wept." — John 11:35
One of my favorite baseball movies is A League of Their Own starring Tom Hanks. In one famous scene Hank’s character tells one of his female baseball players to stop crying. The reason behind his command is that in baseball there is no crying. There may be a few emotional Cubs fans who disagree! Handling emotions can be quite difficult for coaches. We want our team to be on edge and ready for a big game, but when athletes or coaches cry or display personal weakness, they are often looked down upon. Does this mean that in sports and in other areas of life it is acceptable to exhibit only tough-guy emotions? No, because Jesus was not afraid to express emotion.
Jesus was greatly troubled when he saw Lazarus’s friends and family dealing with Lazarus’s death. He was grieved by their grief, and He wept over the death of His friend. Others saw Jesus in tears, and they remarked on how much He cared about Lazarus (Jn 11:36).
We are likely to face grief numerous times during our lives. Sometimes, perhaps especially for men, we struggle with which emotions we are free to express and which ones are better left covered up. Yet if Jesus was man enough to cry, then we too can break out the Kleenex with no shame. The people in the crowd didn’t comment on the fact that Jesus appeared weak for crying. Instead they were moved with compassion and caring when they saw His tears. I think the players in our locker rooms might be moved as well when they see that we care enough about them to shed a few tears of both grief and joy on occasion.
1. What things in life are worth crying about?
2. Are you allowing Jesus to guide your behavior in and reactions to life’s difficulties?
3. How will people respond to you when they see how much you care?
Extra Reading: John 2:1–11; John 9
Lord, I thank you that Jesus is an unchanging example for everything we do and say. Let us not be afraid, but boldly speak and act in love. Let us show others the agape love that You feel for us every day. Thank You for loving me enough to send your Son. Amen.