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Real Men Cry
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35 (NIV)
Popular culture has given us a false impression of what is a real man. Many current television shows portray fathers or men in general as goofy, nerds, or jerks. When I was a child I thought real men were the cowboys I saw in movies or television shows. They were tough, didn’t need anybody, and knew how to fight and win. Today, rap music portrays men as pimps, drug dealers, and absentee fathers.
None of these are accurate descriptions of real men. Yes, sadly this does portray some men but not a Godly man. A real man is a Godly man that seeks God’s face and to do His will. A real man loves his wife as Christ loved His church. He leads his house by following Jesus and modeling His servant leadership. A real man realizes that we are the church and are meant to live in community. He sees the importance of small groups where he can privately share his concerns and joys.
A real man will use all of the emotions that Jesus used while He walked on earth. So, a real man will indeed cry. Jesus cried and on more than one occasion. Two passages in the Gospels (John 11, Luke 19) and one in the Epistles (Hebrews 5:7) teach that Jesus wept. In the Gospels our Lord wept as He looked on man’s misery, which demonstrate our Lord’s loving human nature.
John 11:1–45 is the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha and a friend of our Lord. Jesus wept (John 11:35) when He gathered with the sisters and others mourning Lazarus’s death. Jesus did not weep over the death itself since He knew Lazarus would soon be raised and ultimately spend eternity with Him in heaven. Yet He could not help but weep when confronted with the wailing and sobbing of Mary and Martha. The well-known scripture “Jesus wept” is indeed the shortest verse in the Bible but also one of the most revealing of the human nature of Jesus.
In Luke 19:41–44 the Lord is taking His last trip to Jerusalem shortly before He was crucified at the insistence of His own people. As our Lord approached Jerusalem and thought of all those lost souls, “He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). We know that Jesus cried aloud in anguish over the future of the city. That future was less than 40 years distant; in AD 70 more than 1,000,000 residents of Jerusalem died in one of the most gruesome sieges in recorded history as the Roman army destroyed the Second Temple.
Jesus was both human and God. This is the same Jesus that is also the King of kings that defeats satan in Revelation 19. His miracles displayed His divinity so that both He and the Father would be glorified. As Jesus wept for his friends or for the city of Jerusalem He was showing us the important human emotion of compassion.
Prayer: Dear God, We want to be a man after your own heart. Give us the wisdom and courage to be a real man and to help rise up other real men. We thank you for all of the blessings from Jesus including the ability to cry.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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