Weeping with another person is love at its most powerful—especially when that other person who shares with us is Jesus. It’s compassion going two ways—flowing from Jesus to us and from us to Jesus. It’s a fellowship. There’s comfort in it.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

John 11:32-35

Some think that being emotional is not such a good thing. They believe feelings need to be kept inside – hidden from the world. They tell us to be strong and “keep it together.” Yet the Bible shows how Jesus Himself had strong emotions. And it’s probably those very emotions that gave him the compassion and deep love He expressed throughout His ministry. He was able to put Himself in others’ shoes and feel what they felt. That’s what happened in the above story.

Jesus wept with His friends.

Jesus shows His compassion for others, people like you and me, throughout the Gospels. Just a few examples:

  •  “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (Matthew 15:32
  • When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
  • When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” (Luke 7:13)

When we grieve and call out to Him, Jesus comes to us too, in the way He came to Mary and Martha. He joins with us in our pain. Though He is the Son of God, Jesus humbles Himself to share in our human nature and in our suffering as the sinful mortals we are. The Bible says that He is as an older brother to us – human but divine. (Hebrews 2:11)

As I’ve gone through hard times, I’ve discovered that Jesus will share in my suffering when I let Him. And I’ve learned that, as His human sister, I can share in His suffering as well.

Jesus puts Himself in our shoes and feels compassion for us in our troubles. But can’t we do the same for Him? Can we feel how it must have been for Him in the Garden of Gethsemane when He needed His disciples and they fell asleep? Can we feel the excruciating pain of rejection He suffered to be treated as evil by the very people He had ministered to – people whom He deeply loved? How can we help but weep as we see Him hanging on the cross, thinking – not about Himself but us – crying out: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Can we feel His pain?

Jesus comes alongside us, helping us carry our grief – feeling our grief. Can we be moved as He is moved? Can we join with Him in fellowship – suffering with Him as He suffers with us? …Heart touching heart, tears joining tears, participating in His suffering as He participates in ours? Brothers and sisters in God’s family.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17, ESV)