MORE THAN EMOTION... LOVE
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept. John 11:33-35
As we step into another day to change the world, I just wanted to step into the deeper side of our emotions. Have you ever been watching a movie or looked at a picture and all of a sudden you are overwhelmed with emotions that well up inside and you begin to cry. It could be tears of sorrow, joy or fear. It's this ability for us to truly feel closer to God on a different level where we are so connected to our hearts that we find ourselves out of control. You know those moments where you may be watching a dog's life or possibly looking at old videos from the family and your love for the moment so consumes you that there is no controlling the waterworks that are about to erupt. I have to say, that the older I get the more I find myself stepping into those God moments that allows me to see life in a different way. I think that the more we draw closer to God, the more our hearts are filled with compassion for His creation. Our words and direction stop moving towards what can benefit us, and lead us to see the bigger need and desire for others to find the great JOY in God. Yes, I know that many of us try to protect ourselves from showing our emotions because we feel as though it may show a weak point in our armor. I say, when you are able to show emotions and not worry about the world's response, you have moved away from it being an emotion and moved towards experiencing true AGAPE LOVE.
Many of us may be familiar with this term AGAPE, but for those who may be learning of this term for the first time let me spend some time helping us understand the different types of love. In my limited knowledge, I know of three main types of love that are spoken of in the Bible. These three types of love are Phileo- brotherly love, eros- passionate love and agape- god-like love. Phileo is one that helps us to see love in a friendship way. We see this in the name of the city Philadelphia or the City of Brotherly Love. It represents the deep relationship we have with friendships and close acquaintances. We express this love in hugs and trust. The second type of love is eros or passionate love. This type of love is more designed for the types of things that we lust after like foods, clothes, music, relationships
etc. It is a euphoric type of love that will never truly be attained. If we feel as though we have attained it, the bar moves further down the road and our idea of this passionate type of love never stays the same. As children we love princes and princesses and as we get older we have fantasies of movie stars lives and mansions. Finally we come to the love that was expressed by God called AGAPE. This type of love is never ending. There is no limit to the love of God and it is expressed through the grace and mercy of Christ on the cross. Agape love allows us to know and feel that love is more than an emotion. Agape love is the ability that God has to forgive us and feel our pain. Agape love never stops trying to reach us even when we may turn away. To be able to love like God becomes a lifestyle because you see not with your earthly eyes but with eyes like Jesus. You love someone because they are a creation of God and not for the baggage they carry. Agape love is unending and allows us to truly experience the love of God through the humanity of Christ.
Today that is why I chose the reintroduce you to the shortest Scripture in the Bible, John 11:35, "Jesus Wept". Even though it is the shortest verse written, it contains some of the most powerful emotions every expressed by Jesus. To let you know the backstory of what was going on, Jesus' friend Lazarus was deathly ill and dying. Jesus was probably in Perea preaching to the people when the word of his friend's ailment reached Him. Jesus response was powerful. Instead of dropping everything and rushing to the side of His friend, Jesus waited. What? One of Jesus' closest friends were in need and He waited...why? Well we see why earlier in the Scripture with Jesus' response, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." Yes, this may not make any sense at the time because the disciples had already witnessed the many miracles of Jesus, and they probably were confused why Jesus was not rushing to be by Lazarus' side. But God's love had a bigger plan. When Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus was already in the grave for 4 days. Mary and Martha were distraught and in their minds rightfully questioned Jesus' actions. But we are about to see one of the climaxes of the ministry and life of Jesus. Please hear me and realize that it was not the raising of Lazarus, but the love through emotion that Jesus expressed when He came to the grave. Just like the emotions that we talked about before, the humanity of Jesus overcame His ability to hold back His anguish for His friend. For Jesus to express such a intimate expression of love was mind-blowing. When Jesus wept, it continued to break down the barriers that had been between us and God. When Jesus wept, it meant that Jesus knew that He was bringing back His friend from eternity with God to once again experience the sufferings in this world. When Jesus wept, He looked into the eyes of God and recognized His true purpose in this world was to bring healing and wisdom. So few words... but such a powerful statement. Jesus' authority over death and humanity in life merged and Jesus struggled to hold back the natural emotions that any of us would experience from joy to sorrow.
So today I just want you to know that it is ok to show raw emotions. When we lose loved ones or experience a transition in life like graduations or weddings. It is ok because AGAPE love is not meant to be contained by the container-which is us. Agape love is more than an emotion... it is pure love. Growing up my dad use to always say, "Don't cry, suck it up." Later in life when he experienced the power of God's love, the man would cry at the drop of a hat. Why? Because once you truly experience God's love in any capacity, your life and outlook of the world is different. You want to do anything and everything that you can to share that love with the world and redirect them from the love the world defines. Agape love is sustainable and moves past the emotional ties into being a part of who we are. I know that may seem
hard to understand but once you get there, if you are not already there, you will fully understand that your life is not about you anymore. Our lives are a part of the AGAPE love of God and that's what helps turn the sorrow into joy. When the darkness seems to surround us, we feel the love of God expressed through a hand on our shoulder or a message sent at the right time. We are never alone and we all must step out of those lies we have been given from the world and get ready to be made complete in Christ. I am thankful for the fact that Jesus wept. It gives me confidence to know that He feels my pain and hurt. The tears of Christ helps me to realize the hope that still remains for this world because we have a Savior who loved us enough to become tangible and walk amongst us in a fallen world. Take comfort in this message today and pass it on so others can realize that God's love is more than an emotion. God's love lives through the story of Jesus and that story ends with an expression of love so great that it is indescribable.