3. He defended them in front of Jewish leaders.
When the Jews bring a woman caught in adultery before Jesus, they want to stone her (John 8:5). They also want to test Jesus and have a reason to accuse him. But instead of falling into their trap, Jesus turns the tables. He asks them not to look at the woman, but to look within themselves. Were they without sin? Not one of them can say yes. And one by one, they leave until it is only Jesus and the woman.
Jesus doesn’t tell her to continue living the same life, but to leave her life of sin. He also tells her a crucial element of her future story: He doesn’t condemn her.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)
To others, this woman’s life wasn’t worth saving. It was worthless because of her past choices. Jesus chose to look not at her past, but her redeemed future. He didn’t defend her sin, but her destiny that was covered by his grace. He chose to defend what was his, and this woman’s life was never the same.
4. He showed them his humanity.
When Jesus goes to the town where Lazarus lived, he already knows he’s dead. He knows Mary and Martha are mourning, and he knows the future miracle he will perform. Jesus could’ve skipped straight to the part where he shows his power. But instead, he gives Mary and Martha a glimpse of his humanity.
“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
He is overcome with emotion because he loves Lazarus, and he loves his sisters too. This is not a show for Jesus, but a man who is grieving. Scripture only contains three instances where Jesus cries, and this meeting with these two women he spent much of his time on earth with is one of them.
Other Jews, including men, witness this show of emotion as well, and they interpret it in different ways. But no matter what others thought, these verses show that Jesus experienced the full range of emotions associated with grief, and Mary and Martha were firsthand witnesses of it.
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Alexandru Zdrobau