The Shortest Verse

When you ask the question many are quick to respond. “What is the shortest verse in the Bible?”

Jesus wept (John 11:35). The scene is the burial of Jesus’ good friend Lazarus. The two sisters Mary and Martha have expressed disappointment that the Lord took so long to get to them. Perhaps He could have reversed the situation? All around the mourners have started the lament. Why did Jesus weep? In compassion? In the pain of being misunderstood? Simply facing the grim fact of death, the by-product of man’s rebellion and sin? Sharing in even this response of mortality – people cry at funerals for reasons they don’t understand.

But all along Jesus held the solution – resurrection power. And it was an answer far beyond any expectation of his friends. “Lazarus come forth”.

There is another short Bible verse, perhaps not so well recognized. The Apostle Paul is giving admonitions for healthy Christian living to the young Church at Thessalonica. Rejoice evermore (1 Thessalonians 5:16). He is considering the eternal scope of things ; well beyond any present pain or perplexity. The Lord has set things right, and that eternally. His passion and resurrection have brought love, life and liberty to each believer. His enormous suffering (as that “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”) has cleared the way to victory. No one else could have stepped forward as the Lamb without spot or blemish to accomplish the atonement. Get hold of the “once and for all” aspect of it in Hebrews 10. This is good shouting ground. We will give thanks forever.

Jesus wept…Rejoice evermore.


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