Talk about fulfillment! This one lone verse is replete with it.
As the twelfth chapter in Romans begins, we are informed of the high standards God holds forth. It’s a challenge for those who represent God. And, since they have accepted Christ as their personal Savior, they are supposed to be an illustration of Him, also.
Maybe you’re like me. I have heard many sermons on verses 1-14 and 16+. But, I’ve never heard a message on verse 15. This particular verse reminds me of two stories about Jesus.
One story that is found in Luke 7:11-15 is about the widow of Nain. It tells us that Jesus entered into her emotions. His heart/spirit was so profoundly affected that He found himself compelled to bring her son back to life and return him to her.
The other story, in John 11:33-36, tells us that Jesus’ heart/spirit was deeply touched by a woman named Mary. Her grief over the death of her brother Lazarus was so open that it brought Jesus to tears. It was not something He hid. Those watching attributed His ability to identify so emotionally with Mary to His love for Lazarus.
Reflecting on those illustrations of Christ’s heart/spirit, and wanting to be like Jesus, let’s see what we can gain from the original language. This study also enables me to make more specific application in my own life. Here is a breakdown.
Rejoice: Greek, chairo (khah-ee-ro) be cheerful, happy, well off, be glad, joyful
With: Greek, sun (soon) denoting union, together, about as close as possible, to resemble
Them: Greek, autos (ow-tos) other persons, the other of self, those, together
Weep: Greek, klaio (klah-yo) to sob, wail aloud, bewail, weep
To paraphrase this verse: “I can measure my ability to illustrate God’s standards by testing myself to see if I am completely functional, emotionally. This can be validated by whether or not I illustrate the ability to experience, among a host of emotions, cheerfulness and joyfulness. Then, when other people are joyful and cheerful, I will be able to unite as close as possible emotionally with them. I will resemble them emotionally. Naturally then, in times of grief, I’d be just as capable of relating to others as though it were myself when they are sobbing or weeping out loud. God knows that this characteristic alone will bring a high degree of comfort to others.”
Since living here, where Satan brings so much grief, isn’t it exhilarating and gratifying to think we can counteract Satan by bringing comfort to the heart/spirit of another person?