John 11:35 may be one of the most widely memorized verses in the Bible and that is probably due to it being the shortest verse in the Bible!
Let’s consider this brief verse for a moment and see the beauty of the One who wept.
Why did Jesus weep? The preceding verses in John 11 tell us that Jesus’ friend had become sick and had died. Verse 3 tells us that Jesus loved him, ““Lord, the one you love is sick.” Surprisingly, upon hearing that his friend was sick, John tells us that Jesus “stayed where he was two more days.” (John 11:6)
When Jesus finally arrives, his friend Lazarus had been dead for four days. There was no question by anyone that this man was dead. Jesus then speaks to Mary and Martha and both express their faith in Jesus’ power to heal and said, ““Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21 and 11:32)
Jesus proclaims, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) Jesus knew that He would momentarily raise Lazarus from the dead.
Even so, “Jesus wept.” Why did Jesus weep if He knew that He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead? While there are many possible answers to this question, I will offer a couple. Jesus wept because He had compassion for those grieving. Jesus wept because He loved Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Jesus carries our burdens and He is compassionate when we mourn. Jesus also wept over the reality of the inevitable penalty of sin … death.
But when you have faith in Jesus, you can have hope even in the face of death. Jesus’ promise that, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” is the promise where believers can find comfort, hope, and assurance no matter what your circumstances may be, knowing that the One who wept for Lazarus has the very same love for you.