John 11:17-44

It is the shortest verse in the Bible – two words. What can two words tell us about anything, much less about Jesus?

Actually they can tell us quite a lot. They tell us that Jesus felt sadness. We also know that he had empathy for Mary and Martha in the loss of their brother. Empathy is the ability to “experience the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another” ( The scripture says when Jesus saw Mary weeping “he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” Why does this matter?

Each of us wants a relationship where we are known and loved. We want to have our feelings and emotions understood, and to have our perspective taken into consideration. We want a relationship where we can feel free to express our thoughts and feelings, and where the other person in the relationship will be considerate of our emotional state of mind. These relationships are hard to find.

What we many times fail to remember is that such a relationship is always there for the asking. Just as Jesus demonstrated that empathy while here on earth, it is still there in our relationship with Him today. He knows what we are feeling, empathizes with it, and takes it into consideration.

The flip side of this is do we do the same? God wants to be loved as well. He asks for our hearts, and he asks for us to talk with him on a daily basis. Many times, we only turn to that relationship when we need it. We don’t nurture it to strengthen it as we should.

The challenge of these two words is for us to remember that God loves us and understands us, but we need to invest in the relationship to get the most benefit from it. Have your shared your thoughts with God today and then listened to what he is saying to you?

Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that you are always there for us to talk to. Help us to know that you understand and empathize with us, and that you are always there for us to fall back on.

Susan Rucker