If you are familiar with the Bible I’m sure you’ve heard the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept” in John 11:35.
I had always thought that was the only verse in the Bible with only two words but recently learned that was not true. There is another verse with only two words.
You have to count characters to determine which is shortest. John 11:35 has two words and 10 characters. I Thessalonians 5:16 has two words and 14 characters.
So there you have it, John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible but you have to go to a character count tie-breaker for confirmation.
Contrasts are interesting
In addition to just the number of words I find the contrast in these two verses interesting.
In John 11:35 Jesus shows us He loved and felt grief just like we do. Lazarus, a close friend of His, had just died and a wave of grief just passed over Him like it does us when we grieve, so Jesus wept.
In I Thessalonians 5:16 we are told to “Rejoice always.” That seems to be in direct conflict or contrast with John 11:35, but is it really?
This does not mean to pray continuously but to pray persistently and consistently. Don’t just use prayer as a crutch or your “help line” when you have exhausted all of your own great, or not so great, ideas. Try it as a first resort. His ideas are greater than ours and prayer helps us learn what those are.
You Can Memorize Scripture
Three very short verses, seven words, and you thought you couldn’t memorize scripture. I am confident if you will just read these three verses a few more times you will have memorized three verses today.
God Does Not Do Coincidences
God does not do coincidences. He knew what He was doing when he inspired these verses as He did with all the other verses in the Bible. I am not an expositor of scripture and did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but I can draw a couple of thoughts from these three short verses of scripture that make sense to me.
As Christians, if we would practice praying without ceasing that would increase our chances of rejoicing always. If we rejoice always we will even be able to rejoice when a brother or sister in Christ leaves this world and takes up residence in their final home with Jesus. We know they are rejoicing and that helps us to rejoice. However we will also shed a few tears because we are sad they are no longer here with us and we do grieve.
In the end, as Christians, we do have the hope and promise we will see them again one day when we get home.
Do you share this hope?
If you don’t share this hope and would like to learn how you can visit Peace With God and satisfy your curiosity. What you learn there can allow you to begin rejoicing always. You just may be weeping for joy and praying without ceasing will become a real possibility.
Until next time…
Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 5/2/2015