Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
John 11:33–35 (CSB): “When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you put him?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they told him, ‘come and see.’ Jesus wept.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
(This article is copied and pasted from an article I wrote on my website on May 20, 2019.)
The three verses that I have chosen as Today’s Bible Verses are just one of many possible illustrations of the fact that you really need to use Bible study resources in your time with God’s Word. There are meanings hidden under the surface that you won’t pick up on unless you dig deeper by reading what others (hopefully scholars) have said about the passage.
One of the many excellent resources I consult often is the two-volume “The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of Scriptures” by Walvoord & Zuck. Listen to what this commentary says about what it means that Jesus “groaned” or, as the CSB translates it, “was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled.”
“Deeply moved may either be translated ‘groaned’ or more likely ‘angered.’ The Greek word enebrimēsato (from embrimaomai) seems to connote anger or sternness. (This Gr. verb is used only five times in the NT, each time of the Lord’s words or feelings: Matt. 9:30; Mark 1:43; 14:5; John 11:33, 38.)” – The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Let’s look at the 5 times that the word “groaned” or “deeply moved” is used in the New Testament:
Matthew 9:30 “And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus warned them sternly, ‘Be sure that no one finds out.’”
Mark 1:43 “Then he sternly warned him and sent him away at once,”
Mark 14:5 “‘For this perfume might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’ And they began to scold her.”
John 11:33 “When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled.”
John 11:38 “Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.”
Look back at John 11:33. Imagine the scene. Jesus saw Mary convulsing in grief over the recent death of her brother. Then, he looked at the others who were crying and wailing over the loss of such a dear loved one.
What was Jesus’ response?
“He was deeply moved in his spirit…”
If this means that he was at least mildly angry, and I think this is probably true, WHY was He angry?
Was he angry at Mary? No! Of course not.
Was he angry at the crowds? No! Of course not.
So, if we could be so bold as to presume what may have been going through Jesus’ mind, what got Him angry?
I think the answer is: sin and its consequences.
God created Adam and Eve in the perfect Garden of Eden. As God spoke and Jesus created (John 1:1-3, 14), a utopian existence came into being where God and mankind were free to enjoy relationship apart from any pain, sickness, sorrow, or death. It was a foretaste of what Heaven will be like.
But mankind fell from that perfect condition. Genesis 3 records it. Now, mankind’s existence is filled with results of “The Fall.” As a result of Genesis 3, death now occurs. And as a result of death, unspeakable grief is experienced.
And God is not indifferent to this. While God is righteous and must punish sin, He is not emotionally aloof to mankind’s plight.
I believe that when we read John 11, we see two of the primary emotions that God experiences as He sees mankind in a fallen world.
He is angry and He weeps.
He is angered that sin and its consequences have destroyed His perfect creation and He is saddened that mankind’s current experience is filled with grief because of it.
But, our current condition is not the end of the story. God determined in eternity past to glorify Himself (demonstrate how wonderful He is) by determining to send His Son to remedy to problems of The Fall. It is through Jesus that the solution to our current plight is fixed.
For all who will transfer their trust from “self” to Jesus, as they submit to His authority over their life, Heaven awaits us. In fact, Heaven is going to be a “new earth,” a place where we will live where there is no more pain, sickness, sorrow, or death.
2 Peter 3:10-13 (CSB): “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”
In that place, Jesus will no longer be angry. He will no longer be sad.
And we won’t be either!
Why? Because there will be no sin and no more of sin’s consequences! It is going to be a place “where righteousness dwells” and all of the blessings associated with it!
I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to that day!