Jesus’ weeping was at Lazarus’ home. His friend was dead and he was about to raise him. I’ve always wondered about the cause of his weeping. Was he crying because Lazarus had died . . . because Lazarus sisters partially blamed Jesus for not getting there sooner . . . or was it because Jesus hated to call him back from what had been found beyond the tomb?There is an event, described by Luke (the sermon text), that leaves me wondering if perhaps Jesus wept again. He certainly lamented. Jerusalem, the Holy City, had all but rejected him. The people of the city, like so many others, had heard him and had seen the miraculous things he did; but, in spite of this, they rejected him. This was the city where he, as a twelve year-old boy, had taken his place as a “man” in the Jewish faith. It was here he had dialogued and questioned the leading rabbis. It was here that he had the first awakening of who he was. When his parents realized he had been separated from them and rushed back to find him, his mother chastised him. Well, what mother wouldn’t? He said, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” (See Luke 2:41-51)
Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem was personal. As the Father’s Son, this was the one place he should have been welcomed. Oh, I know that his message challenged the established faith, but wouldn’t those who were watching for the coming Messiah expect him to challenge them?
It all leads me to wonder if Jesus is weeping still. As he looks down on our houses of worship and our other institutions of faith, what does he see? Have we embraced the Messiah he was? Or have we reshaped him into the Messiah with whom we’re comfortable?Christians make a lot of noise in the public arena. They march and carry signs. They boycott businesses and offices. They do it all because of the evil society the nation has become and the immoral behavior they see. Jesus made his way through the society of his day, even daring to travel into the despised land of the Samaritans and to engage them in dialog. In doing so, he carried no sign but himself. When he lamented, it was not over society as a whole but over the Holy City, the place that was the center of the faith that was his.
Perhaps we lament over the wrong things, places, people, and causes. Perhaps we should look more closely at our own practice of the faith we claim to hold in Jesus’ name.