Hunkered Down Devotion

John 11:35 (NIV)
35 Jesus wept.

If you, like me, ever attended a Bible camp or Sunday school that involved scripture memorization, you likely already knew that John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the entire Bible.  Just two small words, Jesus wept.  

My first appreciation for this verse was entirely about its brevity.  I was a camper at Summer’s Best Two weeks and in order to earn my ‘little S’ (the camp’s lowest recognized mark of achievement), I had to memorize and recite at least 10 verses.  John 11:35 felt like a freebie.  I didn’t even have to try to remember it, if I could remember the chapter and verse, I had it.

It wasn’t until much later in my life that I began to appreciate this verse for its true meaning.  If there were a word count to importance ratio, this passage would surely rate as one of the most power packed in all of scripture.  

Two simple words. A proper noun and a verb and nothing else at all.  The shortest possible complete sentence in the English language, ‘I am’ is only slightly shorter than this verse.  And yet, if we are to understand what is being conveyed in these two words, it is a concept so important and profound that it cannot be measured.

‘Jesus wept’ means that, truly, what breaks our hearts, breaks God’s heart as well.  ‘Jesus wept’ means that even in our deepest most profound grief we are not alone, and that God is with us.  ‘Jesus wept’ means that the God that created the universe and everything in it – including us – knows and understands our pain.

‘Jesus wept’ is a demonstration, in the most powerful way possible, that our Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ, is not distant or aloof, but is present with us, near enough to hear our cries and know our pain.  ‘Jesus wept’ is proof that not only does Jesus hear and know our pain, but that he is moved by it and is present with us in our moments of pain.

Jesus is with us when we are in pain and when we suffer, but that he enters into our lives and suffers with us.  

Sharing God’s Love, 

Prayer:  Jesus, our Savior, and our friend, thank you for your presence with us.  Help us be representations of your love and presence for others.  Amen.  

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