Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:11
Here's a question for you: what is the shortest verse in the Bible?
Do you know?
I'm impressed. A lot of you are saying that "Jesus wept" is the shortest verse found in the Bible. Congratulations! Now, the next question is going to identify the real Bible scholars: where is the shortest verse in the Bible found? Hands up, please!
Hmmm, the number seems to have gone down considerably. That's because there aren't so many of us who know that "Jesus wept" is found in John 11:35. That's the good news; here's the bad.
In the Greek, "Jesus wept" is not the shortest verse in the Bible.
In the Greek there is another verse which is shorter. You get an "A" for the day if you can tell me what that verse is -- and where it's located. I'll give you a clue: in the Greek "Jesus wept" is three words, 16 letters, and this new verse is two words, 14 letters.
Have you got it yet?
Here's the answer: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -- "Rejoice evermore."
Think about it. If, through some terrible catastrophe, the entire Bible was taken away from us, those two short verses would preach a wonderful sermon: Jesus wept, so we might rejoice evermore. Jesus wept. It's true. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, wept when death came to His friend, Lazarus; He wept when He saw the future that awaited the unrepentant city of Jerusalem.
He cried out upon the cross as He died to remove the spots of sin, the terrible, tragic transgressions of our souls. Jesus wept so that His people might rejoice. Believers can rejoice.
* Because their sins are taken away, they can rejoice.
* Because they know they are not alone, they can rejoice.
* Because their friends and family members who died believing are in heaven with their Savior, they can rejoice.
We can rejoice because we know there is a reunion in heaven. We can rejoice because we know the day is going to come when we will be with the Lord in that place where the Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (see Revelation 21:4).
Jesus wept, so we don't have to.
Knowing that, Martin Luther, a pretty astute scholar, said, "God is not a God of sadness, death, but the devil is. Christ is a God of joy, and so the Scriptures often say that we should rejoice. ... A Christian should and must be a cheerful person."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, with a repentant heart I regret those sins that sent the Savior to the cross. Still I rejoice that through His suffering I have been forgiven and saved. May my life be spent rejoicing ever more. In the Savior's Name I pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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