Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Statistical Blindness


John 11:35
“Jesus Wept.” – All Translations

This passage in the New Testament is the shortest verse in the entire Word of God. Brief and to the point, these two words speak volumes about the character of Jesus Christ. In school, I learned that the word used here for Jesus’ weeping is different from the one used to describe the weeping of Mary and the Jews which indicated loud wailing and cries of lament. This word simply means “to shed tears” and has more the connotation of quiet grief.

Throughout the Gospels, we read of Jesus’ prayerful demeanor. He is always depicted as peaceful, patient, somber and slow to speak. As I read this verse about His weeping, I can’t help but wonder: Did Jesus ever smile? Did He ever laugh? Did He ever experience the kind of silly joy that we all remember?

This feature of Christ is one of the mysteries of the Bible, I suppose, because the experience of Jesus expressing amusement is not specifically supported from what I can tell. All the facts or statistics in the world cannot express something that is not there, and as it were, a record of Jesus laughing is noticeably missing.

Now, as Christians, we know that Jesus smiled…and smiled often. The omission of this exact phrase in the Bible is meaningless; after all, the Bible doesn’t say that he went to the bathroom either. My point is that statistics cannot be used in the areas of faith; there are so many things that go unmentioned. No, technically the Bible does not indicate that the Son of Man smiled for even a second…but, does someone who encompasses pure love not know the thrill of happiness? I think not.

Statistics are good, don’t get me wrong, but only after one considers what they have not said.

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