Christmas Tears

Ben CerulloBy Ben Cerullo4 Minutes

Throughout His life, Jesus was moved with compassion for those in need. His miracles — and everything else He said and did — were expressions of His broken heart for lost humanity.

Jesus sought to impart this same heart of compassion to His disciples. One day, as He was teaching, preaching, and healing the sick, “He was moved with compassion for [the multitudes], because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Saddened by the tremendous needs He saw, He told His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:35-38).

As we celebrate Jesus’ birth this year, I pray He will give us this same heart for the lost and needy people around us. He changed the world not only through His wisdom and moral teachings, but also by His stunning example — offering hope to the hopeless and stooping down to put shattered lives back together.

Jesus cared enough for fallen humanity that He left the glories of Heaven to enter this sin-sick world and die on a Cross for us. While demonstrating complete authority over sin, sickness, storms, poverty, and death, He also wept over people’s needs.

When Jesus was about to raise his friend Lazarus from the dead, He was moved by the deep sorrow of the sisters, Martha and Mary. We read that “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Although this is the shortest verse in the Bible, it’s also one of the most profound. God weeps with us!

We also see Jesus’ tears during His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-42). The multitudes were eagerly praising Him with waving palm branches and loud hosannas (vs. 37-38), but “as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it” (v. 41). The Greek word implies loud sobbing and anguish, not just ordinary tears. Jesus’ heart was torn that, despite Jerusalem’s beauty and rich history, its people did not know “the things that make for peace” (v. 42).

Stories like this should grip our hearts as well. Like the people of ancient Jerusalem, our world is filled with people who don’t know the joy and peace that come from a personal relationship with Christ. Some have never heard the Gospel message. Others have rejected it so far.

Jesus’ mission was “to seek and to save that which was lost” (v. 10), and He still weeps for those who are perishing. This same compassion was a secret of the early Church (Acts 20:31, Philippians 3:18) and of dedicated believers throughout the centuries.

General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army in the 1800s, once received a desperate telegram from missionaries who were confronting total indifference from the people they were trying to reach with the Gospel. The telegram read: “We’ve tried everything. What should we do now?” Booth sent back a telegram containing just two words: “Try tears.”

When all else fails, try tears. Allow God to break your heart that anyone would live or die without Christ. With tears and a broken heart, win souls by sowing seeds of love this Christmas season:

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him
(Psalm 126:5-6).

Christmas is a wonderful time to “sow in tears” and “reap in joy.” God promises you a great harvest when you do.