ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adele Hebert is "driven to study the word". Asked to describe herself, she recalls the honor of being recognized as an Independent Scholar by author Leonard Swidler for whom she worked as an editor and contributor for the book Jesus Was A Feminist (which includes one of her articles). She has also edited other Christian books and newsletters, including CBE International newsletters and she typed the GWTW book and many of Katharine Bushnell's articles which are centerpieces of the GWTW site. Delighted to have her article included on the GWTW website, Adele is confident that this message will bless many women.
study on all the Tears in the New Testament
are few words spoken by women in these gospels, but many tears are
shed and recorded, mostly by women, some even by Jesus, the man of
sorrows. The fact that all these tears are detailed says that God
values all our precious tears, whether for joy or sorrow. Psalm 56:8
tells us that, “God knows our troubles and our wanderings, stores
all our tears in a bottle, has counted each one of them, and they are
recorded in the Book.”
beginning of the New Testament opens with glad tidings, the
announcement of two children, which brought tears of joy to Elizabeth
and Mary. This joy would be short lived for Mary, as Joseph tells her
that he will put her away quietly. The betrothed was heartbroken, to
say the least. An angel in a dream restores their marriage. After
Jesus is born, Mary and Joseph bring the child to the temple, and it
is prophesied to Mary that, “a sword will pierce your soul.” Lk
2:35. When Jesus was missing for days, she would have been
beside herself with worry, but Mary would experience many more tears.
the joyful birth of Jesus, other women are not so lucky. Mt 2:18 “A
voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: it is Rachel
weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are
no more.” Those women were bereft; Herod had given the order; the
soldiers had killed their babies.
was a woman in Lk 7:37-44, “who had a bad name… and had brought
with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his
feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them
away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and
anointed them with the ointment. 'You see this woman? I came into
your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured
out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair.”
Jesus was touched by her tears.
was another woman, taken in adultery, Jn 8:1-11. This woman would
have been shocked, sobbing uncontrollably, knowing she would be
man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, had a daughter who died.
Lk 8:52 “They were all crying and mourning for her, but Jesus said,
'Stop crying; she is not dead, but asleep.” No doubt the woman who
touched his hem, and was healed of her hemorrhage for 12 years would
have rejoiced. Other women who would have wept with joy are the
Syrophoenecian woman whose daughter was cured, the widow of Nain
whose son was brought back to life and given back to her, the woman
who had a crooked back for 18 years… and many more who heard the
wonderful words of their Lord.
friends with Martha, Mary and Lazarus. When Lazarus died, everyone
wept. Even Jesus wept. Jn 11 says, “When the Jews who were in
the house comforting Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they
followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at
his feet, saying, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not
have died.' At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who had
come with her, Jesus was greatly distressed, and with a profound sigh
he said, 'Where have you put him?' They said, 'Lord, come and see.'
Jesus wept; and the Jews said, 'See how much he loved him!' Sighing,
Jesus thanked God.”
Lk 23:28 Women wailed, “But Jesus turned to them and said,
'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for
yourselves and for your children.” He had such deep concern
for mothers and their children.
is no telling how many tears were shed at that cross or the tomb, by
Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the other women.
Their grief would have been unbearable. But on Resurrection morning,
their tears of sorrow turn to shouts of joy.
16:1 says, “When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the
mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and
anoint him.” These women were still mourning for Jesus. Tears are
louder than words.
20 says (twice) to Mary Magdalene, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
Then he called her name, “Mary, go and tell them: I am ascending to
my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' So Mary of
Magdala told the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord'.” Mk
16:10 “Mary Magdalene then went to those who had been his
companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them.”
it was important to mention even in Acts 9:39 that, “all
the widows stood round him in tears, showing him tunics and other
clothes Dorcas had made when she was with them.” Another woman was
brought back to life. Our tears are not for naught.
attention to all the tears; he saw them; he acknowledged them; he
even cried with them. There are many tears in the NT, which says
that Jesus knows our suffering, he hears our cries. Jesus also
promised in Jn 16:22, “Now you are having pain. But I will see you
again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your
joy away from you.”
21:4 says, “God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will
be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be
any more pain for the former things are passed away.”
God all our tears are recorded; each tear is counted, for our
consolation. Jesus hears our cries; Jesus sees our tears. Jesus even
cries with us.