Jesus Wept?

LazarusI was recently visiting a Deacon’s Quorum and the adviser asked each of the boys to think of their favorite scripture.  One boy said that his favorite scripture was ‘Jesus wept’ because it is so easy to memorize.  He got the reaction he was looking for when the other boys started to laugh.  I couldn’t help but wonder why Jesus wept.

In the book of John, we read about Lazarus.  The story of Lazarus includes the shortest scripture in all the standard works which is simply, ‘Jesus wept’.   The scriptures are clear that Lazarus was a friend of the Savior and a friend to those whom the Savior loved.  But what would cause Jesus to weep?  Jesus understood perfectly the Plan of Salvation and would have easily comprehended the short time these friends and family members would be separated from Lazarus compared to the eternities spent with him.   Surely Christ knew what he was about to do – that is, raise Lazarus from the dead.  But the scriptures are clear anyhow, Jesus wept.

Then it dawned on me.  Jesus wept because he was doing what we have been commanded to do.  He was ‘mourning with those that mourned’.  He was bringing ‘comfort to those that stood in need of comfort’.

I have come to know that the atonement brings so much more than a forgiveness of sins and a future resurrection.  It allows Him to bring comfort when we stand in need of comfort.  Alma promised, ‘He will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.’ (Alma 7: 12)

He has promised, ‘I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you’ (John 14: 18).   ‘Therefore, let your hearts be comforted…be still and know that I am God’ (D&C 101: 16).

Tom Pettit

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