Why Did Jesus Weep?


When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, He was moved with indignation and deeply distressed…Jesus wept.

~John 11:33,35, REB


Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.

~Elisebeth Elliot

John 11:33 in the NASB reads… When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled… Two words are used here to describe Jesus emotions: the Revised English translated them ‘indignation’ and ‘distressed.’ The NASB translates them ‘deeply moved’ and ‘troubled.’ The first word in the Greek word embrimaomai which comes from the word brimáoma which means to snort with anger. I like the word indignation: I think it is the right choice. The second word is tarassō which means to be stirred up, agitated, or disturbed. The question is: what agitated Jesus, what was disturbing Him? Why did He weep? Scholars have debated this question for centuries and of course I am no scholar but I have thought about the question a lot.

Understand: this is simply my opinion so don’t base your theology on what I’m about to say. I think first and foremost, [1] Jesus was disturbed by the unbelief He saw not only in the Jews but in Mary and Martha. He had already told them that He was the resurrection and there was nothing to worry about but even the sisters are not believing in His resurrection power at this time; as a matter of fact, Martha will protest them moving the stone. What else could Jesus do to prove Himself to these people? [2] Some believe that Jesus is disturbed by death itself, the curse of sin on mankind. We know that Jesus hated sin and death came into the world by sin. I think it is safe to say that Jesus hated death and the suffering and despair that it brings to the human family. [3] Some even think He is thinking about His own death which is no light thing so I can’t rule it out but I still lean toward number one. [4] Others believe that it was just Jesus humanity coming out; he saw these girls weeping and His emotions were overwhelmed by their grief and so He wept with them. [5] The last suggestion that I have is that He was weeping for Lazarus because He was about to bring him from paradise back into this world of sin and suffering. Lazarus would have to die again. I don’t think I would want Jesus to bring me back to this world once I fight that final battle; do you? It is possible that all five have some validity.

Looks like the cold weather will get here before our Trunk-A-Treat which is Thursday night: we will trust the LORD and move inside. I’ve been moving plants to the greenhouse; June says it may get into the 20’s on Friday morning. I wanted cool weather not an arctic blast. I will still take it over the 100 degree temps.

About 20-25 churches were recognized Monday night at the Annual Meeting: these churches were the charter members of Morgan Baptist Association which was established in 1919. Danville was one of those charter churches. I have your award: it comes with a thousand dollars if anyone is interested. {JK}

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