Speaking Of Life 2018 | That One Wee Drop
Most churches have scripture reading each Sunday. These readings can be quite lengthy depending on the text. But I know of one church that had a surprise. As customary, the reader walked to the front of the sanctuary to read the selected text. He positioned a large Bible on the podium and slowly turned the pages till he found the passage. He pulled out his reading glasses and grasped the podium as if settling in for a long reading. He began, “Our scripture reading for today comes to us from the book of John. He lowered his eyes, took a deep breath, and read: “Jesus wept.” He then closed his Bible and walked back to his seat.
It was a humorous moment intended to set up an important point. The shortest verse in the Bible is by no means insignificant.
This short verse reminds me of a powerful scene in Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick. If you know the story you will remember Captain Ahab as the callous character who lost his leg to the great whale named Moby Dick. From that point on Ahab’s whole life was set on revenge. He was a rough character predictably unforgiving. But Melville created an unexpected scene where Ahab was observed shedding a tear. Melville writes, “From beneath his slouched hat Ahab dropped a tear into the sea; nor did all the Pacific contain such wealth as that one wee drop.”
If a tear from a fictional character bent on revenge could convey such wealth, what treasures does a real tear from the living Son of God hold for us today?
When Jesus wept, it wasn’t a lone tear escaping from a crack in a soul hardened by hate. His tears flowed from the fullness of his Father’s love for his children. His wasn’t a wee drop absorbed by the sea, rather, his tears were mingled with ours, sharing our sorrow of loss from sin and death. Jesus, the Son of God, does not distance himself from our tears; he gathers them up in his own, wiping them away in the flood of his redeeming forgiveness.
With the short verse, “Jesus wept,” we are assured that our tears are not left unattended. In this assurance we can cry out to the Lord to deliver us from our sins and sorrows. Here is a good Psalm to help us do just that.
Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:1-5 NIV)
“Jesus wept.” This is indeed a tiny verse within the sea of words throughout scripture. But we can spend the rest of our lives fathoming the wealth of love in those tears.
I’m Anthony Mullins, Speaking of Life.