Loud Crying and Tears

“In the days of His flesh, [Jesus] offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)

Some people think that tears are not an essential part of the healing/sanctifying process. But they are wrong. The above verse proves it. Jesus, our Lord and Master, Himself was said to pray with “loud crying and tears,” at least some of the time. These were real tears — and tears, by their very nature, are emotionally charged. Jesus cared. Jesus was moved. More than that, Jesus, as our example, truly feared God (though He Himself was, and is, God in the flesh). But let us focus, if you will, on His humanity, His example, and His submission to God the Father, which is the part that we are all to follow.

Let’s picture, if you will, Jesus going for a walk with His heavenly Father (or, He could have been standing still, but I prefer to think of Him walking with His heavenly Father, at least some of the time, in order to be able to appreciate His creation). Burdens are flooding His soul. Why? Not only because He cares, and is moved inwardly as a result of His compassion for others, but, also, there is the very real possibility (and we know this must be true), that Jesus was often under direct spiritual attack from the enemy. In other words, as Jesus prayed, one of the things He undoubtedly had to contend with was the issue of spiritual warfare. As it says in the Bible, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12).

Jesus, then, had to “fight the good fight” of the faith, and, one of the ways that He did this was through prayer. These, however, were no ordinary prayers! At least some of the time, and, it seems, even often, they were prayers that were full of emotion — yes, even “loud crying and tears.” Jesus was not afraid to use His emotions. He recognized when He was hurting, so that He could say to His heavenly Father, “Father, I need you! Come quickly!” Or, suppose Jesus had been hurt by Peter, or any of the other apostles, whom He loved. Rather than becoming bitter and letting His hurt turn to sin by suppressing His real, honest-to-goodness God given feelings about any particular situation, He would have expressed His feelings to God, with a sense of genuineness, and openness. In some sense, this may be exactly what the verse is getting at.

The next verse goes on to say that, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8). What do we learn from this? We learn that the “loud crying tears” had a lot to do with the various sufferings of Jesus. How about us? Are we apt to cry, or do we just “hold it all in?” You know, we ought to learn from our Lord and Savior in this regard. If Jesus was apt to crying out with a loud voice, sometimes, to His heavenly Father, then so should we! If Jesus Himself was apt to crying, yes, even with tears, so should we! We should not fear that this is a childish thing to do. On the contrary, it can be quite manly, or womanly, to simply express our emotions. After all, those emotions were designed by God to be expressed at certain times. Certainly, struggle and hardship will mean that we have to express ourselves in this way on occasion. (Be careful that you do not sin in the process, however. Self-pity, for example, is an example of taking our emotions “too far.” It only leads to more grief, and that, unnecessarily.)

The purpose for expressing our emotions, therefore, is to be able to express ourselves to God, and to draw close unto Him. In another passage of Scripture, in fact, we are commanded to do just that: “… casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). The suffering of Jesus led Him to closeness with His father. He was heard because of His “reverent submission” (or, piety, in some translations). And, because He was reverently submissive, and didn’t want to “play church,” He was oh so willing to be open and honest to God about His feelings. We, too, need to do the same. If you are honest with yourself, and with God, you will have to start sharing with Him some of your deepest sorrows, and how you feel about them. He will hear you. But if you go on denying such pain, who is there to heal you? You may look to the doctors all you want, but they will surely not even be able to get at the source of the real trouble, which, all too often, is spiritual in nature, and not physical. (By the way, did you know that Martyn-Lloyd Jones, who was physician to the Queen of England, gave up his practice and became a full-time preacher instead? He stated that his reasons for doing so were because he realized that the majority of diseases had their roots in spiritual problems, and he could help far more people as a preacher, than as a doctor).

Questions: How honest are we with God about our feelings? Do we suppress them, thinking that this is the better option? Suppression of feelings can lead to the “incubation” of disease, among other things. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, if you are feeling any pain of any type, please, take it upon yourself to get out of your seat (even right now, if you feel the need), and go for a prayer walk with God. Be open and honest with Him about how you feel. However, in the process, remember that He is God, and you are still you! That means, that, even though we are permitted to be “open and honest” with Him about how we feel, we are also to be “reverently submissive” towards Him, as well, like Jesus was.