People don’t really seem to like the idea of God commanding stuff these days. It’s one of the reasons why some people choose to turn away from God altogether. People just don’t like to be “commanded.”
However, you have to admit, that when you look at them, the things that God commands us to do seem very reasonable, like not killing each other, and not stealing, and loving one another. But here’s one commandment in the Bible that might make you wonder:
…weep with those who weep (Rom 12:15)
God not only commanded us to weep with those weep, but he himself also gave us the example, in Jesus Christ, when outside the tomb of Lazarus, it says that: ‘Jesus wept’ (John 11:35).
Why does Jesus weep? After all, he knew that he was going to imminently make everything right. Jesus wept because love never refuses to enter into the suffering of others.
That’s the basis of the whole Christian story.
Everyone who is called to follow Jesus is called to empathy and compassion
Those who choose to follow Jesus are commanded to enter into the suffering of others. The call of Jesus is a call to suffer.
Above all, we are called to love. There is no greater experience in the world than to truly love. But how do you love?
True love isn’t really clearly seen in the good times, when everything is going well. True love is seen in the tough times, in the times of suffering. You see love when someone walks beside one who grieves. You see love when someone stays with you through a difficult time. You see love when someone chooses to sacrifice their own good for the undeserving.
If you want to understand why Jesus came into the world, then you must see this. Jesus came because love never holds back from the sufferings of others. He came into a world where oppression, cruelty, poverty, pain, and death reigned. He entered into all these experiences with us. He wept for us, but even more, he wept with us.
Everyone who claims to follow Jesus is called to empathy and compassion. But compassion doesn’t come naturally to us. We find a-million-and-one excuses why we shouldn’t enter in the suffering of others, to empathise with them and to lift them up. Many of these excuses are economic, social, or political. Some of them are even religious.
When we show compassion to others, or when we refuse to do so, Jesus takes it personally. In Matthew 25, Jesus taught that we will all be judged for the choices we have made, and he explained what the basis of that judgment will be. He made it very clear that the basis of judgment will be our compassion for others. To those who feed the hungry and clothe the naked, he will say:
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Our destiny will be decided by how we respond to God’s command. He commands you to weep.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.