a very present help in time of need!

(John MacDuff, “The Character and Claims of the Redeemer” 1859)

“Jesus wept!” John 11:35

There is no doubt but that our Lord often wept — for He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. There are, however, only three seasons expressly referred to — when the tears trickled down His blessed face.

One was during His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem: “And when He came near, He beheld the city, and wept over it!” Another occasion was when He agonized in the garden of Gethsemane: “During His earthly life, He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.”

The other instance is the one before us — let us turn aside, and see this affecting sight! The whole company, it seems, was deeply moved; for we are told that Martha and Mary wept. The Jews also, who came to comfort the two sorrowing sisters, wept; and with peculiar emphasis, in a verse by itself, the shortest in the whole Bible — but not less precious on that account, it is said that “Jesus wept!”

Behold the interesting group, the Savior standing in the midst, as the most commanding object — all bathed in tears! It was not long, however, before the weeping ceased; or, if it continued, it would be for joy — a joy proportioned to the depth of the previous sorrow!

How pleasing is the thought that we have in Jesus, not merely a Being of boundless power and supreme authority — but a living, tender, sympathizing Friend! He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities on the one hand, and of our sorrows on the other hand — having been in all respects tried and afflicted, even as we are. Should we not, then, be encouraged to look to Him, especially in seasons of distress? And, if we do so, He will be to us, what He has ever been to His people — a very present help in time of need!

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