11:28-36 “Jesus Wept”
11:28) And when she had so said, she
went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come,
and calleth for thee.
Martha leaves Jesus without
understanding or accepting the comfort He has offered. If she had listened carefully and believed
what He had said the joy she will feel in less than an hour could have been
hers at that moment. If she has accepted
the message brought to her two days earlier she could have had joy then and not
have suffered such grief for the past two days.
Martha went her way. Her way is to go and bear the news to her
sister that Jesus has come. Martha had
left the house immediately without saying a word to anyone. No one followed her nor did they make
assumptions about where she was going.
She returns to tell her sister that Jesus has come. Notice that she tells her secretly. It could be that the Jews who have come to
comfort them might be such as would cause Jesus trouble. As we shall see some of them run back to the
Pharisees and to tell them what Jesus did. Perhaps Mary needs a few moments
alone with Jesus away from this crowd of guests and so Martha seeks to let only
Mary know so that she can go to Jesus alone.
The message that Martha delivers is
this “The Master is come, and calleth for thee”. The only one that Mary knows as Master is
Jesus. She does not respond to Martha by
saying “Which Master.” There is but one
Master to Mary and that is Jesus. It is not recorded in the scriptures that
Jesus specifically called for Mary. I do
not think that Martha made this up. I think that John has only recorded the
gist of Martha’s conversation with Jesus.
Jesus wants to see Mary and has asked Martha to call her.
Let us not leave this verse without
drawing a lesson from it for use by us today. Jesus has come and is calling for
you. He calls you, who are sinners, to
repent. He calls the lost to be
saved. He calls the saved to serve. He calls the mourners to comfort. He calls
the weary to rest. He calls the prodigal home.
He is calling for thee my friend.
Do what Mary did, when called by the Master.
11:29) As soon as she heard [that], she
arose quickly, and came unto him.
Mary jumped up quickly and
immediately as she hears that Jesus has come.
She runs to meet Jesus. She knows
that there is comfort there. She knows
that Jesus can handle every problem and can cure every pain.
11:30) Now Jesus was
not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
Jesus had not come into town but was
waiting outside of
Let us learn a lesson from this
verse also. Jesus will not be found
everywhere. He is omnipresent but to
find Him you must seek Him where and when He may be found. (Acts
wants men to seek Him. He is not far away from any of us. To find Him you must
turn from the way you are going and go toward Jesus. This turning is called
repentance. Those who are willing to repent will find Jesus.
11:31) 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 goeth unto the
grave to weep there.
Martha has told Mary a secret which
the Jews were not privileged to hear.
They think nothing about Martha whispering in Mary’s ear. They do not seem to even wonder at what is
being said. They don’t even seem to put the two events together. They see Mary rise quickly and assume that
she is overcome with grief and longing for her brother and wants to be close to
his body. Without an invitation they
rise and follow that they might continue to offer what comfort they can at the
It is good to comfort the grieving.
Paul said concerning the good news of the coming resurrection that we should
comfort one another with these words.
There is comfort that can be given to the bereaved loved one of a dead
saint. There is little comfort that can
be given to the bereaved loved one of a dead lost soul.
11:32) Then when Mary was come where
Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if
thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
Mary finds Jesus where He was and as
soon as she laid eyes upon Him she fell down at His feet. This position is one of worship. It is a position of adoration and praise. It
is a position of humility. It is the position all will take one day, even those
who die in their sins will one day bow before Jesus.
Mary speaks the same words which
were spoken by Martha. Mary knows that Jesus has the power to heal the sick.
She knows that Jesus has the compassion to heal the sick. She is convinced that Jesus would have done
this for her brother had He only been there.
But Mary’s faith is weak. Should not she have known that Jesus knows all
things and can heal from any distance?
Like Martha she did not believe the message Jesus had sent that this
sickness was not unto death. Had she
believed she would have had such great comfort and even great joy knowing that
all would be well and God would get the Glory.
11:33) When Jesus therefore saw her
weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the
spirit, and was troubled,
Jesus could not help but to take
notice of the weeping of Mary and the Jews which had followed her. Weeping is
hard to ignore. Jesus groans in His spirit.
He was deeply touched by their grief. (Hebrews 4:15) For we have not an high priest which cannot
be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted
like as [we are, yet] without sin.
created man. He gave to man emotions. He
gave to man the ability to love and be loved. He made us to have feelings both
of joy and of sorrow. Jesus became a man and Isaiah described Him as a man of
sorrows and acquainted with grief. Jesus was deeply affected by the display of
sorrow He saw before Him.
Jesus was also troubled. He was
troubled by their lack of faith. Jesus had said that this sickness was not unto
death. He had said that this sickness
would result in glory to God and glorification of the Son of God. He had told Martha that Lazarus would rise
again. He had told His disciples that He
was going to awake Lazarus out of the sleep of
death. All of this seems to have fallen
on deaf ears for Jesus has given them hope and they have rejected it soundly.
It troubles Jesus when men refuse to
believe. It trouble Jesus when they
mourn and weep and suffer worry and stress unnecessarily. It troubles Jesus to
see the lost not believe and accept His free gift of salvation.
11:34) And said, Where
have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Jesus does not ask this question for
information for He knows right well where Lazarus has been laid. He asks this question for their sakes. This gives them the opportunity to feel
needed. They have something constructive
to do and they feel like they are being of help. This tends to get their minds off of their
sorrows. Helping others takes our minds
off of our own problems and makes good use of our energies.
11:35) Jesus wept.
This is the shortest verse of the
Bible. Jesus will weep again according
a part of life. Man is of few days and
full of troubles. Weeping is common to
all men. Jesus showed His emotions on this occasion by weeping. A friend of mine lost his wife due to a car
accident. At the funeral I wept. I wept
because of the pain and sorrow my friend was having to
bear. I hurt because he hurt. Our emotions are expressed physically through
such things as tears and laughter. Jesus let those around Him know that He was
grieved. Jesus wept.
11:36) Then said the Jews, Behold how he
The assumption that was made by the
Jews was true. Jesus did indeed love
Lazarus. But His tears are not because Lazarus is dead. Jesus well knows that Lazarus is in
paradise. Lazarus is experiencing
greater joy than he has ever known. Lazarus is with his family
who have gone on before him.
Lazarus is rejoicing with such great men of faith as Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob. Lazarus is having a great
time. Jesus has saved his soul and made
Him a joint heir. The tears of Jesus have nothing to do with Lazarus.
Jesus does not weep for Mary and
Martha and the grieving friends of Lazarus for He is about to turn their sorrow
into great and exceeding joy. He has told His disciples that He has come to
wake Lazarus from the dead. He does not
grieve because of their grief and sorrow.
Why then does Jesus weep? He weeps because of the unbelief of this
crowd. In this crowd of people
surrounding Jesus is His disciples who do not believe. Jesus said in verse 15 that He was not there
to the intent that they may believe. His
disciples faith is weak and He grieves for them. Weak
faith causes undo worry and sorrow and fear.
Jesus grieves over His disciples lack of faith
Jesus grieves because of the
unbelief of His friends. They believe He
is the promised Messiah but they do not believe that He is God. This lack of faith and understanding causes
them unnecessary pain and suffering and Jesus has compassion for them and so He
Jesus is grieved because there are
lost people in this crowd who do not believe that Jesus can save their souls. They think that their good works will save
them and do not see that there is no hope for them except they repent and seek
the mercy of God and His forgiveness.
Jesus weeps because they are lost.
Jesus is grieved because He cares
for these people. God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life.
Conclusion: Let us learn something from the example set by
Jesus. If Jesus is troubled by those who
reject Him and by the lack of faith of not only the lost but also the saved
should not we be as well. It is often
the case that when the Gospel message we preach is rejected that we summarily
desert them and feel contempt for such stupidity. Should we not instead be
troubled and moved with such compassion for lost souls that we seek help for
them through prayer. The unbelieving are headed for Hell and we as God’s people
and followers of our Master the Lord Jesus Christ should have and show our
concern for their welfare. Jesus wept
for such as these and so should we.