Why Did He Weep?

The gospel of John, chapter 11, verse 35 tells us that Jesus wept. He wept when his friend Lazarus died. But why? Why would Jesus weep? Sure, Lazarus was dead, and that would make his friends sad. But, given that Jesus was about to raise him from the dead, what was there for Jesus to weep about? Was he feeling bad for Lazarus’ sisters who were grieving? Maybe. But again, Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. So what was there to weep about?


I wonder if the answer might be found in the next chapter: John 12:17-19. It turns out that this miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead brought Jesus a whole lot of notoriety. (As would be expected!) In John 12:17-19 we see that, because of the fame he was receiving, the Pharisees decided that it was time to act. It was at this point that the Pharisees decided that they had to deal with Jesus once and for all.


I’m thinking that Jesus wept because he could see what was coming. He could see that he was going to raise Lazarus and that this miracle would be the thing that would push the Pharisees into action, and that their action would end up with his crucifixion. To me this would be a reasonable explanation for his tears.