What Makes God Sad?

“Jesus wept” may be the shortest verse in the Bible, but it is also one of the most powerful. Have you ever wondered what makes God weep? Here are five situations that answer that question.

People in pain make God weep. In Mark 1:41, the man torn with leprosy touched Jesus deeply. He was “filled with compassion” (splanchnizomai, σπλαγχνίζομαι). It means Jesus felt torn up inside. He was moved. God created people in his image, and to see this man raked with disease brought Jesus to tears.

People who refuse to help fill Jesus with anger:

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored (Mark 3:1 – 5).

But Jesus was also moved by the lost (Mark 6:34): “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” I wonder if we feel the same way about our friends and neighbors who don’t know Jesus?

One of the most emotional passages is found in Mark 8:12, “The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit.” I like what the classic commentator Swete wrote: “The sigh seemed to come, as we say, from the bottom of his heart, the Lord’s human spirit was stirred to its depths.” Hard hearts and eyes that refuse to see make God weep.

Finally, pompous people bring tears to God’s eyes. When the disciples were marching to Jerusalem, people began bringing little children to Jesus. The apostles were incised:

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

My prayer today has two parts first, that we will be moved by the same things that bring tears to the eyes of God, and second, that I won’t do anything today that will cause my Father pain.

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