Lazarus is sick. Lazarus dies. Lazarus is resurrected by Jesus. The array of emotions in today’s short reading is too much to be grasped in these few verses. Anxiety, sadness, grief, amazement, wonder, delight, joy, anger… they are all there in this recap of this event. There are many participants besides Jesus: disciples, Mary and Martha, Lazarus, neighbors, relatives, priests, the high priest Caiaphas, and maybe even others. All these characters experienced many different emotions through this episode. The disciples were anxious about Jesus going toward Jerusalem, Mary and Martha were joyful and the Pharisees were angry.
Did you know that there is really no scientific consensus on a true definition for emotions? I am not a doctor nor a psychologist, but I know we all experience emotions. Emotions are messages from our brain that guide how we react to events happening around us, and what an impact they have on us. Sometimes, we become “too emotional,” while other times, we might be “hiding our emotions.” One thing I know for sure, is that we were created in the image of God, and Jesus himself in his humanity experienced emotions. Therefore, I can allow emotions to help me as I live my daily life. Maybe joyful one day, a little sad the next. What do you think? As you read this scripture, see if you can observe the shifts in emotional levels as the story unfolds.
Read: John 11:17-57
Questions to Consider:
1. Do you know someone who hardly ever shows any emotions? Do you know someone who is very expressive with their emotions?
2. What about people who are totally controlled by their emotions? How could we be helpful in their lives?
3. How can we commit our own emotions to the work of the Holy Spirit within us?
So What Activity: Today, thank God for your emotions and then ask the Holy Spirit to help you keep those emotions in check. Be aware of what your emotions tell you about how you are abiding in Christ for your every-day living.