Jesus modeled empathy in all He did. One of the more moving moments of this (for me, Sara, at least) is the story of Lazarus. Jesus returned to Judea after receiving word from Mary and Martha that Lazarus was very sick and would die. When Jesus arrived outside the village, He learned Lazarus had been dead four days already. Both Mary and Martha greeted Jesus with somber hearts:
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved[e] in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. – John 11:33-35
When Jesus saw Mary and Martha, he shared in their anguish. Jesus knew He would be raising Lazarus from the dead shortly after this moment, and yet He wept.
Jesus met them both where they were, a season of great grief and sorrow, embraced their emotions, and wept with them. He didn’t brush off their grief as unnecessary, even though he was about to perform one of His greatest miracles. Jesus was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, and yet he helped foster a space where the grief and sadness could be felt, not stifled. Jesus responded with deep empathy.
Share a time when you received an empathetic response from someone during a personal season of grief. How did that make you feel?
Author: Sara Fullerton