Jesus Wept

Scripture: John 11:20-34

20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.
21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.
26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”
28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”
29 So Mary immediately went to him.
30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him.
31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there.
32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and He was deeply troubled.
34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Then Jesus wept.


Let me say in passing, that Jesus heard Mary and Martha’s prayer sent while Lazarus was still alive but He delayed His coming. To Jesus, the end was always in view whereas Mary and Martha were locked into the present moment {like we are today}. This is a reminder: Jesus always hears our prayers but He answers them with the end in mind which may mean a delay for us. It is a testimony to His infinite wisdom and love.

I want to call your attention to verse 35, two word translation, “Jesus wept.” Thus the question, “Why did Jesus weep?”

  1. Jesus wept because He loved Mary and Martha. Tears are an expression of grief and grief is an expression of love. He who loves deeply, grieves deeply. He who loves little, grieves little.
  2. Jesus wept because He cared. He was not indifferent to their grief. He knew what was going on and He stood with them, even weeping with them. Sorrowing along side them. Sharing their grief.
  3. Jesus wept because He empathized, He actually felt their pain. So family, treasure these three thoughts: [1] Jesus loves you [2] He cares about you this very moment [3] He feels your pain. He is invested in you. He shares your sorrow.
As I was reading this passage this very morning, it was the different responses to Jesus presence and person that struck me.

Response # 1: Mary and Martha ‘blamed’ Jesus…If you had been here, our brother would not have died. [v. 21 & 32]

They knew without doubt that Jesus could heal a sick body but He did not arrive in time to heal Lazarus so they blamed Jesus for his death. Jesus could have prevented him from dying. Why wasn’t you here? You could have kept this from happening.

Response #2…Martha doubted Jesus…”But LORD” [v.39]

“But LORD,” said Martha, “by this time there is an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus had just told Martha that HE WAS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. The resurrection is more than a day or an event, Jesus is the resurrection. “He that believes in Me,” Jesus said, “will live even if he dies. ” Martha had faith but not perfect faith, she believed that Jesus was the Messiah but she was having trouble believing that He could raise the dead. She believed that He was greater than sickness but she was struggling with death. All of us struggle with death. Death can create a lot of doubt. Death has a frightening face, it appears grim and final but it is neither. Jesus can take the sting out of death. Actually He has done it already.

What about your faith? You say, “I don’t have any faith.” Are you sure? Do you believe that Jesus lived on this earth? Do you believe that He is the Son of God? Do you believe that He died on a cross? See, you do have some faith. You are like Martha and me, you have faith, just not perfect faith. What you need to embrace today is the fact that JESUS LOVES YOU PERSONALLY and that He died on the cross in your behalf because He loves you that much.

Response # 3… MANY BELIEVED IN HIM. [v.45]

It took the death of Lazarus to open the eyes of many of Mary and Martha’s friends. When they saw Jesus love at the grave side…and His power over death…they believed. Would you open your eyes today and see Jesus standing beside you weeping with you because He loves you. If His love does not move you, there is little hope. I assure you, JESUS LOVES YOU and I beg you to put your faith in HIM.

Don’t put any faith in me. I am less than nothing. In math, we can’t go lower than zero but I am telling you, I am less than zero. I love you…I sympathize with you…I empathize with you…I feel some of your pain but my puny love and sympathy is not even a scratch on the surface of HIS INFINITE LOVE for you. That word infinite means that the gap is so big, it cannot be measured. If my love were a 1, HIS LOVE would not be a zillion times greater, it would be more. We don’t have a number big enough to describe His love for you.

Response # 4….Some plotted to take HIS life [v. 53]

The Pharisees, the leading Jews {elites} began from this day, to conspire against Jesus and plot His death. They became JESUS HATERS.

Our world is filled with Jesus haters but you don’t want to be one of them.

In the end, we will all stand before God in judgment and everything will be determined by how we related to Jesus. The one thing you want to get right today is your relationship with Jesus. Don’t blame HIM, don’t doubt Him, don’t hate HIM…put your faith and trust in HIM.


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