Notes to the Leader: This is a discussion study. Begin with questions and encourage the group to talk about what they are familiar with. Read Bible verses only after some discussion and then go back and ask the question again to see if the verse has given ideas to your group.
Introduction: Tear (tir) is a watery, slightly alkaline secretion that protects and lubricates the eyes. Tears contain salt and also an antibacterial enzyme (lysozyme) that prevents the eye from becoming infected. Tears are secreted by the lacrimal glands around the eyes. Lacrimal apparatus is the anatomical name for the structures in each eye that produce and drain tears. The lacrimal gland lies in a notch in the upper, outer corner of the bony eye socket. The tears it secretes are carried in 12 small ducts to the surface of the eyeball. They are washed across the eye by the action of blinking. Two ducts at the inner corner of the eye drain the tears into the lacrimal sac and then to the back of the nose.
What can we learn from observing our environment?
- Read Romans 1:20
Who can doubt that man was created through the hand of God not by chance or freak of nature when you observe the human eye. It is through our sight that we know there is a God and by our eye that we can be assured that we are of His creation (Romans 1:19).
- Read two definitions for the word weep. Select an old and new dictionary.
What is the difference between the definitions below?
- To manifest grief or anguish by tears; shed tears, as from sorrow, unhappiness, or any overpowering emotion; cry: to weep for joy or rage. THE AMERICAN COLLEGE DICTIONARY, by Random House, 1948
- To express deep sorrow by shedding tears. WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY, BY Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 1999
Our language has changed in the past 50 years. You or your parents and grandparents learned that we could weep for both sorrow and joy. Our society has changed and reduced the meaning to only include sorrow.
Why should you care that the “Dictionary” has changed in 50 years?
- When you struggle to make children, parents, grandparents or any adult understand each other’s point of view, remember that the World and its “darkness” attacks peace many ways. There is no better way to disrupt human communication and understanding than to teach each generation an ever-changing language. Each of you must always seek your own truth and understanding. Don’t take what the world gives you without seeking God’s wisdom through the Bible.
Why do we cry?
- Joy – an outpouring of positive emotion
- Sorrow – an outpouring of negative emotion
- Pain – a response to physical stimuli
Does crying and do tears have a purpose?
- Psychological purposes – release of emotion, generates endorphins, generates responses from those around us
- Physical purposes – reduces inflammation of the eyes, protects the eyes, we feel better
What can we tell about Jesus if he could cry?
- He could feel emotions (joy, sorrow, pain)
- He offered proof of his humanity (see the anatomical structure of the eye)
- Jesus felt the emotions of friendship (Lazarus was His friend)
Why should this be important to any of us?
- Jesus was demonstrating that He was not only God but He really was a real person (man) too. Jesus was a human being. Jesus can be a friend as well as a Savior.
So why should we care that Jesus was both God and a person like us?
- We cannot see God, He is invisible.
- We cannot comprehend God, He is omnipresent.
- We cannot duplicate any of God’s actions such as to create life.
- Bottom Line: We the human race need an intercessor to bridge between us and God. Jesus is visible, real, and capable of a personal relationship with each of us. Through His friendship, His caring nature, His saving act of mercy, each of us is given hope.
What is an intercessor?
- Someone who functions an intermediary, a go between, a translator for two parties.
What makes a good intermediary?
- Understands the position of both sides
- Has a balanced point of view
- Will be fair
If Jesus could not experience the emotions of tears and crying, would He make an effective intermediary?
- Probably not. Because Jesus is human, He knows our pain, our joy, and our sorrow first hand. Because Jesus is God, He knows mercy, fairness and judgment. Jesus is the perfect intermediary for mankind.
If Jesus knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead anyway, why should He bother to weep?
There were benefits to Jesus’ human side as well as those around Him.
What is accomplished when we share grief or joy with others?
- We come to a common ground, an understanding of the other person’s emotions.
If you now believe that Jesus knows our joy, pain, and sorrow, how should that make you feel?
- You can share common ground with Jesus (your joy, pain, and sorrow)
- You can believe that Jesus knows your feelings.
- You can know that Jesus will help you.
- Note: The Bible (NIV) has the word cry – 217 times, cried – 94 times, weep – 48 times, weeping – 56 times, and wept – 53 times. That is a total of 468 times. The word “joy,” was used only 218 times, only half as much. God knows that life in the World is hard and He gave us an understanding Savior, Jesus, to help us every day of our lives.
Can you find the emotions being expressed in these Scripture verses?
- Luke 7:37-38 = repentance
- Acts 20:34-37 = joy/gratitude
- John 20:11 = sadness
- Luke 22:61-62 = sin/guilt
- Hosea 12:2-6 = fear
Jesus wept elsewhere in Scripture. Read Luke 19:41 – 46.
How does Jesus’ tears for the city of Jerusalem and His actions differ from the example with Lazarus?
- Jesus wept for the lost souls of the city but did not take sins of the city lightly. It is important to recognize that Jesus holds each of us accountable for our actions.
Bible Truth Being Taught
Jesus is as much a human as He is God. In this, each of us must take great comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is the only binding to God’s saving grace.
Our Life Response
To seek Jesus in all our joy, pain and sorrow. For He is our true friend as well as our savior.