Compassion Beyond Comprehension

Genesis 50 – Joseph Wept

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.” – Genesis‬ ‭50:15-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬


His brothers plotted to kill him. Stripped him and threw him into a pit. Sold him off into slavery in Egypt. Lied to their father by dipping Joseph’s precious robe in animal blood and saying he was dead. In Egypt he serves as a slave and is falsely accused of making advances on his master’s wife. Is thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Helps another interpret a dream but then is forgotten by that person for several years, left in prison to rot.

Years and years of misery and suffering because of what his brothers did, yet when he discovers his brothers fear that he might take their lives (and rightfully so), JOSEPH weeps. He weeps over the anguish his brothers are experiencing, for the years of regret they lived through, for the fear they were now paralyzed by. He weeps not for himself and his misery, but theirs.

“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”” – ‭‭John‬ ‭11:32-36‬ ‭NIV‬‬


It was humans who sinned, who chose not to love God, to mistrust him and do what they felt best. It was humans who rejected the Father’s love over and over again as he endlessly loved them. It was humans who ignored the son of God when he came offering a relationship with God and a life of love, joy, peace, kindness, and gentleness. It was humans who would falsely accuse him and put him in chains. It was humans who would ridicule, mock, and beat him. It was humans who would nail him to the cross and end his life.

Years and years of pain and sorrow because of sin and rejection of God by humans, yet when he discovers that just one has died and sees the pain of the broken-hearted, JESUS weeps. He weeps over the lost and hurting sheep, the pain they experience in life, and the fear they have in this broken world. He weeps not for himself and his misery, but ours.


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