Jesus Wept…but Why?


S (Scripture): John 11:35 Jesus wept.

O (Observation):  This line (the shortest verse in Scripture) comes up as Jesus stands before the tomb of Lazarus.  

Some people say that this episode brings some basic humanity to the person of Jesus.  “See how he loved Lazarus.”   That type of interpretation shows how Jesus, while God, is fully capable of human emotion – sadness, distress, etc.  

However, some say Jesus wept because he was so frustrated with the people for believing that death was the final end…whereas Jesus knew he could bring Lazarus back to life.  (Earlier he said Lazarus was only “sleeping.”)

And to add another wrinkle here, I leave a note from my commentary:

This word simply means “to shed tears” and has more the idea of quiet grief. But why did Jesus do this? Not out of grief for Lazarus, since he was about to be raised to life again. L. Morris (John [NICNT], 558) thinks it was grief over the misconception of those round about. But it seems that in the context the weeping is triggered by the thought of Lazarus in the tomb: This was not personal grief over the loss of a friend (since Lazarus was about to be restored to life) but grief over the effects of sin, death, and the realm of Satan. It was a natural complement to the previous emotional expression of anger (11:33). It is also possible that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus because he knew there was also a tomb for himself ahead.

So…take it how you like.  

A (Application): This last week I had several family members in need of prayer.  Suffice it too say that I wept internally for them, but they ended up doing fairly well…all things considered.  

These episodes have me wondering what will happen to me at some point.  Who will weep?  Over how many others will I weep?

Weeping is okay.   It is part of the grief process.  But in the end, I hope that our weeping will have been in vain…because I believe all of us (saints and sinners), will be reunited once more in the resurrection to come. 

Over whom have you wept lately?  Was it out of grief?  Anger?  Frustration?

P (Prayer): Lord, we weep.  Help us to know that our weeping comes also with your promise to be present with us.  Amen. 

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