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.

Jesus Made Clay

John 9:6-16 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 

‘He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay’ Jesus illustrates that sin causes blindness (2 Pet. 1:9; 2:22).

‘Pool of Siloam’ this pool was made by Hezekiah (2Ki. 20:20); the Greek word for pool is kolumbethra which means a swimming pool or a place for diving (John 5:2, 4, 7; 9:7).

The blind man’s neighbours and others which had seen him that he was blind before, asked: ‘Is not this he that sat and begged?’ and ‘How were thine eyes opened?’

He answered and said that Jesus made clay, anointed his eyes, and told him to go to the pool of Siloam. He went and washed and received his sight.

‘And it was the sabbath day’ this made it the unpardonable sin as far as the hypocrites were concerned. Nothing good was to be done on this day except for material gain. One could take a beast out of the ditch, but not save a man from death, hell and the grave. Such utter senselessness exists even to this day in religion in many respects! Is it any wonder that sensible men reject outward forms, rituals, and teachings that have no practical and beneficial value at all!

Did keeping the sabbath help the Pharisees or prove they were of God? No more than in many cases today where men maintain some mere outward show of religion before others. Would they perform consistently the same things in private if no one was in the grandstand?

Some of the Pharisees accused Jesus of not being of God because He didn’t keep the sabbath day. Others didn’t agree and asked how can a sinner do such miracles?  The question that should have been asked was why could the Pharisees not heal the blind if they were of God more than Jesus was?

The Deeds of Your Father

John 8:41-47 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not. Which of you convince me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me? He that is of God hears God’s words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God. 

‘You do the deeds of your father’ the fact that one does the deeds of the devil proves that one is of the devil (1Jn. 3:8). Since they had sought to kill Jesus, He accused them of being the offspring of satan who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:41-44).

The Jews answered Him that they were not born of fornication. They said that they were not idolaters, but that God was their Father. Idolatry refers to spiritual fornication or a violation of the spiritual and covenant marriage between God and Israel (Jdg. 2:17; Isa. 1:21; Hos. 1:2; 4:12; 2Ch. 21:11; Eze. 16:1-63).

Jesus told them that if God were their Father they would have loved Him. They would not persecute Him if they were of the same Father that He was.

They couldn’t understand Jesus because they cannot hear His Word; it exposed their hypocrisy and condemned their sins, so they were determined not to hear just as others today who refuse to change from a sinful life.

Jesus explained that they were of their father the devil whose lusts they will do (Greek word for lust is epithumia) which means desires, craves and longing for. Satanic lusts are like those of men but much stronger because of being agitated by spirit forces. Fallen angels and men are capable of misusing their creative faculties in deeper and deeper degrees of sin and rebellion as time goes by.

‘He was a murderer from the beginning’ this refers to the death of the whole human race by sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-21; Heb.2:14). Death comes through satan and he kills those who fell away from God’s protection because of their sin.

Satan walked in truth for a time until he decided to rebel against God and this was before he ‘abode not’ or rebelled against truth (Eze. 28:11-17; Isa. 14:12-14). This was before Adam’s day for he was already a fallen creature when he came into Adam’s Eden (Gen. 3:1-24). The rebellion caused the flood of Lucifer (Gen. 1:2; Jer. 4:23-26; 2Pet. 3:5-8). He chose to reject all truth in his period of probation as the Jews were doing here (vv. 39-47). When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own falsehood, for he is a liar and the father of lies and liars. When we believe lies, we reject the Truth (Word = Jesus) and make satan our father.

Jesus asked the Jews that if they couldn’t convict Him of sin, error, or falsehood, why did they not believed what He said? The fact that they didn’t hear God’s Word proved they were not of God.

No Place In You

John 8:37-40 I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said unto them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 

‘Abraham is our father’ True, according to the flesh, but this does not make true children of Abraham or true Israelites. One must not only be a descendant in the flesh but must also be saved and a child of the promise to be a true Jew and an Israelite (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:4-11). If they (the Jews) were really the spiritual seed of Abraham they would imitate him in faith, obedience, and righteousness; but they seek to kill Jesus merely because He told them the truth; Abraham never did anything like this.

The only place Jesus calls Himself a “man” (v 40) He generally refers to Himself as the ‘Son of God’ and ‘Son of Man’ (John 1:49, 51). He was truly man and truly God in nature, being born of God and a virgin (Matt. 1:18).

There were ten reasons why the Jews killed Jesus: His Kingship (Matt. 2:2-3, 16; John 18:33-40; 19:12-22); for telling the truth (Luke 4:21-29; John 8:40); for healing on the sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; John 5:16; 9:16); for claiming Sonship (John 5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); and for claiming to be God (John 8:53-59; 10:33); they were jealous of Him (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); they were ignorant (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); for fear of losing their authority (John 11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19); for their unbelief (John 5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); they killed Him to fulfill prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18).

From the Beginning

John 8:21-25 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and you shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: where I go, you cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he said, Whither I go, you cannot come. And he said unto them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus said unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 

‘I go my way, and you shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: where I go, you cannot come.’ This is the twenty-first New Testament fulfilled prophecy in John. They died in their sin of unbelief.

‘Will he kill himself?’ Note the contrast between this question and the one in John 7:35, both asked in connection with similar statements. They finally realized He was speaking of death, not of going to preach elsewhere, but now they raised the question as to who would kill Him.

‘You are of this world; I am not of this world’ they were capable of murder and suicide because they were of this world, earthly, sensual, and devilish; but He was of another world – from heaven – and was incapable of such. They confirmed His word by murdering Him and by many of them committing suicide to escape famine in 70 A.D.

‘I am He’ there is no “he” in the Greek in John 8:24, 28, reminding us of the name of God in Exo. 3:14-15. It means the Eternal, the ever-present One.

In verse 25 they ask Jesus: “Who art thou?” Where to Jesus answered them: “Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning” which was that He was the light of the world, as He said to them at the beginning of this discourse (John 8:12). Since there is no ‘from’ in the Greek, it could be literally translated, “that which I also say to you (now), the beginning,” that is, the beginning of all things, the head of all principality and power (Eph. 1:20-23; 4:15; 5:23; Col. 1:18; 2:10, 19; Heb.1:2-3).

I am the Light of the World

John 8:12-20 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follow me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bear record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but you cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. You judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me bear witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, You neither know me, nor my Father: if you had known me, you should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. 

‘Then spake Jesus again unto them’ this statement proves that Jesus had been speaking to the Jews but was interrupted by the scribes and Pharisees who brought the woman to Him. ‘I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’ The Jews added a ninth day to the feast on which they lit a lamp, putting it in the chest instead of the sacred books to illustrate Proverbs 6:23 and Psalm 119:105. Christ could have alluded to this, as well as to scriptures referring to the Messiah as a light from Isaiah 9:2; 49:6 and 60:1.

The Pharisees accused Jesus of testifying of Himself and made Him off as a liar. Jesus answered them by saying that He did bear record of Himself and that it was the truth because He knew where He came from and where He was going. He accused them of judging after the flesh; but that He didn’t and when He did judge, His judgement was true because He was not the only judge, but also the Father who has sent Him (Acts 17:32; Rom. 2:16).

It is also written in the Law (also called the Pentateuch or five books of Moses) that the testimony of two men is true. See Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15 and 2 Corinthians 13:1. Jesus counted Himself as one witness and His Father as another.

‘Where is thy Father?’ If they truly knew Jesus, they would have known His Father. They really did not know Him as they claimed. A person cannot know one or the other without knowing both, for no man can come to Christ unless he is drawn by the Father (John 6:37, 39, 44). Eternal life is to know both (John 17:2-3; 1Jn. 5:20).

Jesus taught in the treasury many times (Mark 12:41; Luke 21:1; John 8:20). It was in the court of women. It had 13 chests, the 13th one for the women to put their offerings in. The other 12, which had the names of the 12 sons of Jacob on them, were for the men’s offerings.

‘For his hour was not yet come’ – they laid no hands on Him because they were powerless to arrest Him, not being permitted by God.

Rivers of Living Water

John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) 

‘The last day, that great day of the feast’ it was the eighth day, the great day of the feast because it was a day of great assembly and offering sacrifices for Israel. The first seven days they professed to offer sacrifices for other nations (Lev. 23:34-36). On this day a priest drew water from the pool of Siloam in a golden vessel and brought it to the temple. When the morning sacrifice was on the altar he poured this water mingled with wine upon it, while the people were singing with great joy. It was perhaps at this time that the Lord made His great prophecy of the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the life of each believer in Him.

The 20th New Testament prophecy that is being fulfilled for those who believe all that Jesus has done and commanded in that they will receive the Holy Spirit after the new birth. ‘Any man’ of every race and generation from the beginning of the fulfilment of this prophecy can experience the ‘rivers of living waters’ (Acts 2:38-39; 5:32; Gal. 3:14).

The conditions of receiving the Holy Spirit as given in verse 37, are first to ‘thirst’ which means the ardent, eager, famishing, keen, and all-consuming craving and passion of the soul for complete union with God and the fullness of the Spirit (Psa. 42:2; 63:1; 143:6; Isa. 41:17; 44:3). Secondly, to come unto Him meaning the complete surrender of the life to do the whole will of God as light (knowledge of the Word) is received (Isa. 55:1; Matt. 11:28-30; 1Jn. 1:7). Thirdly, to drink, which means the whole-hearted reception into one’s life of the gifts, the fruit, and operations of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-13; Gal. 5:22-23). And lastly, it states in verse 38, to believe on Him which means to believe in and obey to the letter the whole gospel program (John 14:12-15; Matt. 28:20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 5:32).

‘Out of his belly’ the Greek word for belly is koilia which refers to hollow, bowels, belly, the midst of a thing. Here it means the innermost being or part of man; the soul and spirit, as the seat of the intellect, emotions and desires (Psa. 31:9; Pro. 18:8; 20:27; John 7:38).  ‘Shall flow rivers of living water’ – out of the believer will flow unlimited power to do the works of Christ as John 14: 12 states. It will be a constant flow from the believer of the Spirit without measure – the measure Christ experienced.

Can This Be the Christ?

John 7:25-31 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speak boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man know whence he is. Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, You both know me, and you know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom you know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he has sent me. Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ come, will he do more miracles than these which this man has done? 

The question arose under the people if Jesus was not the one whom the Pharisees seek to kill because He spoke with such wisdom and authority; and if the rulers would indeed know that He (Jesus) is the very Christ (the anointed)?

The Rabbis taught from Isaiah 53:8 that when the Messiah would be born He would hide Himself and that when He appeared no man would know from whence He had come. They had a proverb, “Three things come unexpectedly: a thing found by chance, the sting of a scorpion, and the Messiah.”

Isaiah 53:8 reads that “he was cut off out of the land of the living,” not that He would hide Himself.

Christ answered in verse 28 and 29 their argument by saying that since they know Him and know where He came from, they should add to their knowledge that He did not come of Himself and was no self-appointed prophet. He came from God whom He knew, but whom the Rabbis did not know.

They then wanted to arrest Him, but no man was able to touch Him until His time (to be crucified) has come. God’s power backed up by innumerable angels would not allow Him to be arrested at this time (Matt. 26:53; Luke 22:53; John 18:6).

Many of the people believed He was the Christ because of the miracles He has done.

His Doctrine

John 7:16 – 18  Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 

 ‘My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.’ – Seven times He claimed that He spoke only God’s words at His direction (vv. 7:16; 8:28, 47; 12:49; 14:10, 24; 17:8). He was a true ambassador and a true example to us (2Cor. 5:20).

‘Know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself’ The acid test of a true doctrine is whether or not it is scriptural; whether it makes men love God supremely and others as themselves; and whether it glorifies God and produces peace among men. He challenged His enemies to judge His doctrine on this basis. Most doctrine today is church doctrine and man-made and not scriptural at all, yet people still choose to follow those instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves (reading the Word).

‘He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory’ – an infallible rule that was given to us by Christ is that self-seekers’ will come in their own names creating their own ministries seeking their own glory and secular interests, the same as it was in Jesus’ time.

‘But he that seeks his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.’ Christ promoted the Father’s glory, induced men to serve Him, proposed nothing contrary to the Scripture or the fulfilment of it, and therefore was declared a true prophet. If we add to this the miraculous works confirming His divine mission, then we must accept the Messiah: Jesus Christ.

In the Midst of the Feast

John 7:9- 15 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, No; but he deceive the people. Howbeit no man spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How know this man letters, having never learned?

After Jesus’ brothers spoke to Him to go to the feast, He stayed in Galilee for about four days and then went up in the middle of the feast. Any godly man who was seeking to save the lost instead of seeking worldly fame and popularity would want to stay away from the ever changeable mobs. The Rabbinical law required Him to be there the first day, for the performance of many of the rites; but as they were mostly human invention, He would not have thought them proper to attend.

The ‘Jews sought him’ – that is, the rulers of the Jews who were seeking to destroy Him. From the following verses it is clear that many were for Him, but would not openly take a stand for Him for fear of the rulers (vv. 12-13, 30-32, 40-53).

‘How know this man letters, having never learned?’ Most people could not read or write in Bible times, that’s why they gathered at the temple so that a priest could read from the scrolls. Jesus knew their Scriptures, traditions, history and future better than all others combined. (Luke 2:42-47). He had great knowledge and wisdom from God  and could read from a young age (Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 50:6; 61:1; Luke 2:40, 52; John 7:16; 8:28, 47; 12:49; 14:10, 24; 17:8).