A Merciful and Faithful High Priest

Here are some more of my rough notes on Hebrews 2.

Verse 9-Phil. 2:5-11
·This verse talks about Jesus becoming a man (being made a little lower than the angels)
·Jesus became man, thus becoming subject to death (although He was sinless, He laid down His life for us, that the penalty for our sins might be paid through His death)
·This becoming a man also allows for Him to know and live firsthand our curse (this makes Him the perfect High Priest, the go-between, or the Mediator between a holy God and unholy man)

Verse 10-“For it was fitting for Him…to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

What does it mean to make our Captain “perfect?” This is not a question of being “perfect” or sinless or holy as much as it is a statement leading up to the observation made in verses 16-18:

“For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”

The perfecting of the Captain of our salvation (that is, His suffering on this earth) causes Him to be a merciful High Priest, and fully able to say with us, in His infinite compassion, “I know what you’re going through.” He is able to help us and console us because He knows exactly what we are going through.


I'm reminded of something I wrote in a previous post about compassion. Compassion is essentially where Jesus says, "I ache for these people."

With that said, and looking at this chapter about Jesus being a merciful and faithful high priest, I can see Jesus coming alongside us and saying, "I ache for you."


The Son-"Begotten Not Created"

Here are my rough, rough notes on my Hebrews study again. I've been thinking through why this writer is showing the superiority of the Son over the angels.

·The Son-“Begotten, Not Created”
·See Heb. 2:9-Jesus was made a little lower than the angels (He’s fully man)
·He’s fully man so that He could taste the fullness of death for us-PROPITIATION
·By the grace of God He tasted death for us-this is an expression of His grace

·The writer of Hebrews quotes several Old Testament passages regarding “the Son.”
·He is showing the Hebrews through the OT that “He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than [the angels]”

·Conclusion: While fully man, Jesus, the Son, is also fully God.
Chapter 2

·What does this mean for us? Heb. 2:1-We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard.

Verse 2-4: “For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”

Here we see Jesus, the Son, the One who has a more excellent name than the angels because of inheritance, speaking of the salvation that comes through faith and grace. The word spoken through angels (see Gal. 3:19) was the law (the ministry of condemnation and death, see 2 Cor. 3:7,9), which had glory. But the Son, who is better than the angels, and has much more glory, speaks the word of salvation. The Hebrews to whom this epistle is written, even holding the law in high esteem, must give the more earnest heed to the word spoken of by the Son Himself, namely that of salvation through His grace. We must also give the more earnest heed to this word, for God speaks even now (see Rev. 4:5).

·Chapter 3 will speak more of Christ’s superiority over Moses.


Starting Hebrews

I'm starting out on the book of Hebrews. I thought I'd post where I am so far. I hope it's a blessing for you.

A Study of Hebrews

Chapter 1

·God is now speaking to us by His Son
·This indicates the fact that these are the last days-this is God’s final effort to redeem man
· Mat. 21:33-45
·The worlds were made through Him-Col. 1:15-16
·Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person-Jn. 10:25-30
·’If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father’-Jn. 14:7-11
·”Upholding all things by the word of His power”:
·This reminds me of the time Jesus calmed the wind and the waves-Luke 8:22-25
·”Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey
·Rev. 4:5:”And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”
·When He speaks, we must make every effort to listen. This means making a conscious effort to be mindful of what He is saying at any moment in time (have the eternal perspective). What is it that quiets the voice of God in our lives? Distractions. But He is dealing with His church; He is dealing with each of us individually. Will I listen to the thunderings?

Question to ponder:

Why is it necessary to show to the Hebrews (to whom the epistle is addressed) the superiority of the Son over the angels?

Some verses that came to mind:

Col. 2:16-19
Gal. 3:19

I’m still working on this one.



Giving Thanks - An Act of Humility

It's a beautiful Thanksgiving morning here in northern Indiana. It's pretty cold this morning, and the fog has descended, turning the landscape into a beautiful, white crystalline scene. My kids actually thought it was snow.

As I considered Thanksgiving this morning, I thought of a portion of scripture:

Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."


I know there are all sorts of major theological implications in this text, but for our devotional reading, notice what happens: there are ten who are healed, and only one comes back to give thanks. I encourage you (us) to pause and give God thanks today. It's important to give thanks to God for all our material blessings: houses, cars, etc. But wouldn't you agree that, in one sense or another, we were all lepers, and Jesus has healed us of the horrible disease that plagues mankind, namely sin and death? Let us give thanks to Jesus for His healing.

Notice also that this guy fell down on his face. I see this as another act of humility.

I guess the question is, is my heart the same as this Samaritan leper?


More On Humility

As I was considering this whole idea of humility, the following verses came to mind:

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men--extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." ~ Luke 18:9-14

Here we have the comparison between those who are arrogant and those who are humble. First of all, notice the attitude of those to whom Jesus spoke: they trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. What does it mean to "trust in yourself?" It means to put stock in yourself; to hold yourself in high esteem; to think highly of your own accomplishments and abilities. Jeremiah 17:5, 6 states, ""Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited." It's just a bad idea to have this kind of attitude. Sooner or later, you're going to get a wake up call that really you're not all that great. I get wake up calls like this a lot.

Secondly, notice who Jesus picks for His parable: a Pharisee and a tax collector. How did the Pharisee pray? He prayed with himself. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but aren't we supposed to be talking with (and perhaps more importantly, listening to) God rather than ourselves? Clearly prayer for this guy was a way to pat himself on the back. Really, he was worshipping himself.

Check out the tax collector. First of all, he stood afar off. I wonder if this was because he wanted to be alone; to have a time of solitude before God, confessing his sin and taking care of business. His attitude of humility is best conveyed by his physical posture: his head and eyes were down and he was beating his chest. Have you ever had the urge to get on your knees as you pray? In heaven (see Revelation 1 and 4), they get on their faces like dead men. Have you ever had this urge? Finally, what does the tax collector say? He implores God for mercy. Notice that he doesn't try to bring his worthless righteousness into the picture.

Humility is hard to define. It's an attitude; it's a posture of the heart. It's a consistent lifestyle. Again, it's hard to define, but this tax collector knows what's up with regard to humility.

Questions to ponder:

Have you ever been so humbled that you won't even look to heaven during your prayer time? Have you ever beat your chest, bowed your knee, or laid face down on the floor before God?

**Remember, when I say, "you," I'm talking to myself too!**


The Master's Toolbox

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

Today in church we were talking about the importance of finishing strong. We have been working for some time now on what it means to be an authentic disciple of Christ. Today was the last installment in that study.

We were studying the idea of each of us having a particular type of work we have been given to finish while on this earth. I was reminded of this portion of scripture (among others).

It all kind of reminds me of the idea of a toolbox. In my toolbox there are many tools: ratchets, sockets, extension shafts, screwdrivers, pliers, and other things. Each tool was fashioned for a particular use. For example, a hammer can be used to frame a house. A screwdriver can be used to tighten or loosen a screw. A socket can be used to tighten or loosen a nut or bolt. But if you try to frame a house with a socket, or if you try to tighten a screw with a hammer, you're not going to get very far.

The same is true in the body of Christ. We each have our function; and chances are, we may not be very good at other things. Another thing to note about the toolbox: there aren't any useless tools in my toolbox. There are no tools out there that do nothing; every tool has a function and purpose. The same is true in the body: there are no useless body parts. God desires to use each of us for His work.

So I guess what we should ask ourselves is this: what's our function? Where does God want to partner up with us in doing His work? Where is God at work, and how can I help? What tool am I in the Master's toolbox?


Let This Mind Be In You

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:5-11

Here's a neat little dissertation from the Bible on what humility is. Although Jesus is God, He decided to "make himself of no reputation." What does it mean to make ourselves of no reputation? It's the attitude that Jesus had when he put on the towel and washed the disciples' feet. What really should have been happening? They all should have been on their faces on the ground, being that Jesus is God (and there are instances where people worshipped Jesus in the gospels). But Jesus, setting an example for us, decided to wash their nasty, dirty, gross feet. I don't know if you've ever seen the feet of several men all lined up, but I bet it's pretty gross.

So I guess here's what we should think on:

Do you have reputation? Is your attitude such that you think others should serve you? Or, are you ready to put on the towel and scrub some gross feet? It doesn't sound prestigious or dignified, does it? So many of us in the church want prestige and dignity. But that's how the kingdom is run: on humility. After all, it's how the kingdom was initiated: by Jesus becoming a bondservant and washing our nasty, gross feet.

By the way, when I say "you," I'm including myself in that. I'm just as guilty as the next guy that wants prestige and dignity.



"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." ~ 1 Peter 5:5

I like that phrase, "...be clothed with humility...." I'm definitely not an expert on being clothed with humility, but I still like the phrase. Why? Because humility is beautiful, and arrogance is downright ugly.

So what exactly is humility? What does it look like? How can I be clothed with it? Is it something that we can naturally produce, or does God have to work it in us? How does He do that?

I think these are some good questions to ponder. Thoughts anyone?


Don't Stop Playing

In his book Dangerous Wonder, Michael Yaconelli relays this story:

"There is a great story making the rounds about a well-known pianist, Ignace Jan Paderewski. His concert in New York had been sold out for six months. On the night of the concert those who came were dressed in tuxedos and fancy dresses. A mother brought her nine-year-old son because he was beginning to complain about his piano lessons and she thought hearing a great pianist might motivate him to keep practicing.

"You can dress a nine-year-old in a tuxedo, but he's still nine. Restless and impatient, he continually had to go to the bathroom and, much to the irritation of those sitting by them, kept walking back and forth. Finally the mother became exasperated, grabbed her son by the shoulders, and sat him down hard in his seat. 'Now stay there and don't move!' she said sternly. But a few minutes later, while the mother was distracted by the person on the other side of her, the boy slipped out to the aisle. The mother turned to see her son walking toward the stage, where a huge Steinway piano was standing. Panicky, she yelled at him to come back. Startled, the little boy panicked, ran toward the stage, ran up the stairs straight to the piano, sat down, and began to play "Chopsticks." People in the audience were furious.

"'Get that kid off the stage!'"
"'This is an outrage!'"
"'What is this boy doing here?'"

"As the startled ushers began moving toward the young boy, Paderewski heard the commotion and looked out of his dressing room. He saw the boy playing "Chopsticks." he quickly grabbed his tuxedo jacket, walked to the edge of the backstage area, and then stepped into full view of the audience. There was a collective hush. Everyone wondered what the great pianist would do. The boy, oblivious to what was happening , continued to play. Paderewski came up behind him, went down on his knees, and whispered in the little boy's ear, 'Don't stop. Keep on playing. You're doing great.' While the boy continued to play, the great pianist put his arms around the boy and began playing a concerto based on the tune of "Chopsticks." While the two played, Paderewski kept saying to the boy, "Don't stop. Keep on playing."


Sometimes we all wonder if what we do makes a difference, has an impact, is worthwhile. I know there are times we feel like bumbling, worthless idiots, but really, God doesn't see it that way. God takes our measly efforts and makes them into something special; He plays an incredible concerto around our childlike plunkings.


Beautiful Music

There are few things that I enjoy more than listening to great music. On the way home from work today I was listening to some Jeremy Camp that I have on my mp3 player. I've got a new car that has an mp3 jack in the dash that allows me to plug it directly into the sound system. All I have to do is hit "aux", push play on the mp3 player, and it comes directly through the car's stereo system. I love it!

It got me to thinking of this scripture:

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." - John 15:5

When we abide in the Father, we bear fruit to His glory. We don't have to strain to manufacture good works; as we abide in Him, He bears them through us. After all, for without Him, we can do nothing.

The Christian life is a lot like that mp3 player and my stereo system. Set on "aux", that stereo system will remain silent. It will never produce music of itself. However, if it's plugged into the mp3 player, all sorts of beautiful music will come through those speakers, bringing joy to the listeners.

We should stay plugged into Jesus, so that He may play His beautiful music through us.


Jesus:Moved With Compassion

I ran across this verse today looking for another one:

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." - Matthew 9:35-38

"He was moved with compassion...."

For some reason that phrase really strikes me as encouraging. You can really know something about the Lord by that phrase.

Ponder this:

Are you weary? Jesus desires to have compassion on you. Go to Him.

Do you want to be a laborer in His harvest? I guess He's looking for some people for the job!



I was checking out Acts 27:1-44 today. It's the story where Paul and other prisoners are being transferred to Italy, and during that transfer (it was too late in the year for sailing), they got caught in a storm that destroyed the boat and almost killed all of them.

This is what my devotional said: "Note: even while living in obedience to the perfect lead of Jesus, Paul experienced tremendous hardship." I thought that was pretty profound.

Two other scriptures came to mind:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Cor. 1:3-4

"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15

Here are some observations:

1.) Even when following God, you can experience extreme hardship.
2.) While this extreme hardship is not necessarily "God's will," He can still use it for good, namely enabling you to help out others when they are going through tough times.
3.) Jesus knows what it's like to go through tough times because He walked this earth.

Questions to ponder:

Are you going through some tough times? If so, that doesn't mean you're not in "God's will."

Do you feel like a spiritual wimp because you are going through tough times? That's probably the enemy messing with you. God cares about even your "littlest" struggles. Maybe they seem like little struggles to other people, but Jesus has compassion on you in your situation.

Is God preparing you for something greater? Remember, if you bear fruit, He's going to "prune" you so you bear more fruit (John 15:2). Ouch! That sounds like it could hurt.


What Teaching Math Has Taught Me

~What Teaching Math Has Taught Me About Leadership~

So I've been thinking about this whole leadership thing for a few days, and I've learned a few things about leadership from my job at West Noble High School:

1.) Care about and love kids-you're like a shepherd to them
2.) Stop what you're doing and look kids in the eye when they want to talk to you. If you listen to them, they'll listen to you.
3.) Joke with them. Make them feel comfortable and safe in class. Be friendly. Make a connection with all the kids, especially the quiet ones.
4.) When calling on kids, say, "Yes ma'am, " and "Yes, sir."
5.) Be compassionate. Keep in mind they might be coming from a crappy home situation.

I'll bet you I can find all these principles in the Bible....



Acts 4:13:

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus."

Peter and John were preaching in Jesus the resurrection from the dead with a great deal of boldness. If you take a look at this story, you can see that some 5000 men came to believe in Christ through their preaching. So all the elders, chief priests, and scribes were all ticked off about this and told them to give an account of what they were doing. And they did.

What is so encouraging is that Peter and John were being used so mightily by the Lord to advance His kingdom...and these were uneducated and untrained men. These were just normal, average fishermen. And do you remember what Jesus told them when He first called them? "Don't worry, for from now on you'll catch men." And here we see the fulfillment of Christ's promise to them (or at least one instance of it).

The reason that they had so much impact is the fact that they had been with Jesus. I can only believe the same is true for today. There is nothing that qualifies people more for leadership than that they spend time with Jesus Himself. Of course, if someone has the opportunity (and the calling), college can equip people greatly. But really, it isn't the college that equips; it's Jesus. People who spend time with Jesus know Him and His mission, and they accurately represent Him and His heart to a lost and dying world.

So I guess the questions to ponder are:

Do you spend time with Jesus? Do you know Him? Do you really know Him? (Jesus wants to hang out with you!)

Are you just an average, ordinary person? Do you want to have an impact for the kingdom? If you're average and ordinary, then you're a great candidate to impact the kingdom!


Cleaning Up Dog Poop

I sent this article in to Relevant Magazine. I don't know if they would be interested in publishing it, but I thought I'd put it on here for everyone (yeah, all those people that check my blog on a regular basis, yeah right) to see. Hope you enjoy it.


Cleaning Up Dog Poop: A Lesson in Servant-Leadership

By Bill Sines

Several weeks ago my wife and I stopped at an Amish house (we live in the heart of Amish country in northern Indiana) that had advertised by the main road that they had Shih Tzu puppies for sale. My wife had had a Shih Tzu as a young girl and had always loved this breed. So down the dirt road we drove toward the white house with several outbuildings.

When we got there we were greeted by the lady and her husband, and they proceeded to show us the puppies they had on site. We got the Shih Tzu puppies out of their pen and put them in the yard to play. My mother-in-law was there too, as she was looking to purchase one of these puppies as well. The dogs were pretty cute as they played with each other in the grass; they were clumsy balls of fur, falling all over each other and our feet. The Amish guy offered to reduce the price if we took two. So we bought two; one for us and one for my mother-in-law.

The thing is no one ever told me that such a little dog can produce so much in the way of fecal matter! We also have a 2.5 pound Yorkshire Terrier, and she sure doesn’t crap this much.

Now we’ve been working on house training this dog for some time now, and she still doesn’t have the hang of it. We’ve finally gotten her to go outside now, but she just doesn’t get the idea of going all the way out in the yard…yep, when we sit at the dinner table and look out on the back porch, we can see all the business she’s done for the past few days. It’s really starting to get gross.

So where is all this going? Well, in church today we studied Matthew 20:20-28. Consider verses 25-28:

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

All this time, as I looked out back and saw all the crap on the back porch, in my heart I was saying, “I’m not going to clean that up. That’s my wife’s job since it’s her dog.” I realized at church today that I’ve had the wrong attitude. I’ve been thinking about my rights and how that I shouldn’t have to clean up that stupid dog’s poo. Really, it’s the wrong attitude.

In the kingdom of God it’s different. We should have an attitude of service; we should develop a reputation of servanthood. In this situation I knew what I should have have been doing all along—I should have been setting an example for my family by cleaning up that crap without complaining.

Awhile ago I saw an episode of Seinfeld where he was doing this standup routine about having to pick up a pet’s “business” in the city. He was saying that if aliens really were watching us from outer space they would look down on our planet and see all these beings following these other beings around picking up their “business.” They would say something like, “Yeah, we know who’s really in charge.” They would conclude that if some being could get some other being to follow them around and pick up their crap then they must be in charge. I thought that was pretty funny.

The truth is it’s really humbling to pick up animal poop. And that’s exactly what I needed. I needed a little pride adjustment. It’s important for us to remember what leadership is all about in the kingdom. It’s about service. It’s about servanthood. It’s about being last in a world where everyone wants to be first. The church definitely needs leaders like this. The church needs people who will take the lead in a servant role by picking up crap.



Better Than TV

I've always loved this picture. The kids are having a great time watching the sprinkler-that-looks-like-a-tractor out in the front yard. It's really hard to tell what was going through their minds at the time, but, at least for a moment, the sight of a little yellow tractor watering the lawn must have been better than TV. Can you see the comraderie between these pink angels? I wonder if it will continue when they're fighting over boys at prom time.


Jesus - Compassion Embodied

I was thinking on this whole idea of compassion again and was reminded of a certain story, found in John 11. Lazarus had died, and Jesus was on His way to Bethany to eventually raise him from the dead:

Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!" And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?" Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone."

Jesus saw the anguish that death brought to this household. He saw the sorrow and the weeping. And when He saw Mary and the Jews who were with her weeping over the situation, He groaned and was troubled. It pretty much broke His heart to see these people crying and broken over Lazarus's death. And do you know what's written here in the margin of my Bible? It's the word, "compassion." I can see here Jesus aching for these people. He cries for them in verse 35. Those Jews then said, "See how He loved him!" I don't know if they perceived that possibly He was crying for all these people...how that His whole creation was subject to sin and death, and that this broke His heart. Jesus was hurting because His people were hurting.

Question to ponder:

Are you hurting? Do you think Jesus aches for you because you are hurting?


One of my favorite verses is Revelation 21:4: "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Why is that? Because Jesus had compassion on us.



This verse came to mind today...I guess it's in keeping with the whole "compassion" theme from the last few days:

"Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, 'I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.'"

--Matthew 15:32

I really love that phrase, "I have compassion...." I have written in the margin of my Bible a paraphrase, which I think helps us catch a faint glimpse of Jesus' heart:

"I ache for these people...."

After saying this, Jesus fed those people.