Jesus Wept

John 11:28-37 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and call for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou had been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 

‘The Master is come, and call for thee.’ Jesus had evidently requested Mary to be present so she could witness the resurrection of her brother. Jesus waited for her to come before proceeding to the grave.

Jewish burying places were outside the towns and villages. It was the custom of relatives and friends to go often to the grave to weep during the three days of mourning and four days of lamentation. It was about time for the spirit to leave the grave, as the rabbis taught.

‘If thou had been here, my brother had not died’ She also expressed faith in what would have happened if Jesus had arrived before her brother died. She made no request concerning the resurrection.

‘He groaned’ Greek word embrimaomai, be very angry, moved with indignation (John 11:33, 38; Mat. 9:30; Mark 1:43; 14:5). What He was moved against here was no doubt the satanic powers that had Lazarus in their grip (Heb. 2:14-15). He became troubled, Greek word tarasso meaning to stir or agitate) in mind. He faced a conflict with satan, the power of death.

‘Jesus wept.’ The shortest verse in the Bible but very expressive of the humanity of Jesus is generous and sympathetic feelings for His friends. He wept with those who wept and caused even His enemies to acknowledge His love and compassion (John 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 the final rejection of Him and total destruction of the nation (John 11:46-54; Luke 13:34-35; 19:41; Mat. 23:37-39).

‘Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?’ Certainly He could! They had no idea that a greater miracle was about to be performed than healing the blind.

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