Does the verse simply mean that the wake was still continuing by custom so Jesus joined with them for some kind of "weeping and wailing" tradition- before the amazing resurrection of the dead man who was rotting? Were the tears because the Father had made him wait do nothing for those 4 days? Were they tears for His own grief to come?
ESV - 35 Jesus wept.
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► "Jesus wept". This is the shortest verse in the Bible, but it is very expressive of the humanity of Jesus in generous and sympathetic feelings for His friends. Why did he weep? ► He wept with those who wept and caused even His enemies to acknowledge His love and compassion (Jn. 11:33,36; Isa. 53:3; Heb. 2:16-18; 4:15; Rom. 12:15). ► Another cause of His weeping might have been the fearful and universal ravages of sin and death, and the ever darkening shadows of unbelief of His race that would lead them to final rejection of Him and total destruction of the nation (Jn. 11:46-54 Lk. 13:34-35; 19:41; Mt. 23:37-39).
If you had read John 11:33 (the passage just before), you would have your answer. "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled." How could Jesus NOT be moved by all the people weeping and mourning, especially when they, including the deceased, were all so dear to Him?
There is so much that can be said here about why Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus. It was in part because of the lack of faith of the mourners at the grave site, but also because Jesus was willing and able to share in the sufferings of those who were mourning the death of their brother and friend. Jesus willingly identified with us and with the things that tempt us and cause us pain. Heb. 4:15-16 says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Here are some excerpts from Matthew Henry's Commentary about this verse: "Here we have, I. Christ's tender sympathy with his afflicted friends, and the share he took to himself in their sorrows, which appeared three ways: 1. By the inward groans and troubles of his spirit (v. 33): Jesus saw Mary weeping for the loss of a loving brother, and the Jews that came with her weeping for the loss of a good neighbour and friend; when he saw what a place of weepers, a bochim, this was, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. 2. His concern for them appeared by his kind enquiry after the poor remains of his deceased friend (v. 34): Where have you laid him? He knew where he was laid, and yet asks, because, (1.) He would thus express himself as a man, even when he was going to exert the power of a God. Being found in fashion as a man, he accommodates himself to the way and manner of the sons of men. 3. It appeared by his tears. Those about him did not tell him where the body was buried, but desired him to come and see, and led him directly to the grave, that his eye might yet more affect his heart with the calamity."
I think Jesus wept because it broke His heart to see Mary and Martha in so much pain over the death of their brother. And also because Jesus loved them and Lazarus so much. I see the precious love of God pouring out in His tears!
The Bible says we should rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Jesus wept first because He was expressing the humanity that was also in Him like any friend in such circumstances. Secondly, this was a design from God that He will raise Lazarus as a sign for people to believe He was sent by God but wept at their lack of faith which He said " If you believe though you die, you shall live".
Jesus wept when He saw the unbelief around there. Especially Mary who was more equipped than the others who wept alongside.According to Luke 10:42, Mary had chosen the one part that was needful. So Christ was surprised at her unbelief.
I think Jesus was not crying over Lazarus' death. He was surely not sorry for his death. He already knew He is going to raise Lazarus from the dead and He purposely delayed visiting him so that he can die and be in the grave long enough (for 4 days!) (John 11:4) But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So there is no reason for Jesus to be weeping for Lazarus' death since He already knew He is going to raise him from the dead. I believe He is weeping in anger. Let's read the verses before John 11:35 John 11:33 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 Lets 1st get the original word clearly explained: deeply moved = comes from the Greek word ἐμβριμάομαι -> embrimaomai to be deeply in an argument, conflict, or difficult situation. to charge with earnest admonition, sternly to charge, threatened to enjoin to be very angry, to be moved with indignation troubled = ταράσσω = tarassō to agitate, trouble (a thing, by the movement of its parts to and fro) So this verse was not saying Jesus was sad, or deeply moved to tears as many taught it to be. The translation was not explaining what the original text had written. He 1st met Martha. She cried. She didn't expect Jesus to raise Lazarus. This He can accept because she didn't spend much time with Him. She was busy with her work then listening to Jesus at His feet. So for her not to understand His plan, or believe in Him, He can accept. But Mary spent so much time at His feet. Yet she doubted Him. This could have caused deep anger to well up within Him, causing Him to be deeply troubled. This deeply troubled was the likely cause for His weeping. The original word used was Greek word dakryō dakryō translated means shed tears. Not necessary that kind of weeping for the dead as we commonly thought. Look further down the verses at John 11:38 to verify my point: "Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb..." (NLT) At the tomb, Jesus WAS STILL ANGRY! That is not a person who is sad and weeping and crying over His dead friend will feel as many suggested. So may i conclude that our LORD was not weeping in sadness over Lazarus' death as that kind of mourning for his death. He was more likely very sad that they still didn't realized He is the Resurrection and the Life despite Him telling them repeatedly. (John 11:25-26, 40) He was ANGRY and that "weeping" in v35 was that of anger / sadness over their lack of ability to believe in Him then the weeping for a dead friend. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) In other words, without faith, you upset God more then able to please Him.
When Jesus saw the weeping and wailing, he too wept openly. Jesus showed that he cares enough for us to weep with us in our sorrow.
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