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35 Jesus wept.


35 Jesus wept.

This is the shortest verse in the Bible in the English. The shortest verse in the Bible in Greek is 1 Thessalonians 5:16.

The word “wept” is different from the word used in verse 33 for loud and purely emotional wailing. The word here carries the idea of quiet mourning. This is the only time in the New Testament where this word is used. Jesus was deeply grieved. His weeping was of a different order than that of the crowd. Jesus expressed genuine emotion for those He loved. He did not scream and yell like the mourners.

Jesus did not grieve for the death of Lazarus; He was about to raise him from the dead. His grief was because of the misconceptions around Him. The crowd’s view was that there was no alternative to Lazarus remaining dead in the tomb.

Jesus wept on three occasions in the New Testament. Once He wept over Jerusalem (Lu 19:41). He also wept in the garden of Gethsemane. His weeping is evidence of His true humanity.

The Bible does not present Jesus as impervious to emotion. He did not ignore the pain of Martha and Mary.


Jesus was genuine humanity.


Theologians say that Christ was true deity and genuine humanity. Here is a case that shows clearly the genuine humanity of Jesus. Jesus was true humanity. He came as a true mediator. As God He represented God, and as man He represented humanity (1 Ti 2:5). He was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Is 53:3). He saw clearly the degradation of death.

Grief in personal loss is no justification for lack of faith in God’s sovereign action in our lives. However, it is valid for Christians to weep over the death of their loved ones. But their sense of loss is only temporary. We have a hope beyond the grave. We sorrow not as those who have no hope (1 Th 4:13).

The tears of Jesus’ empathy were incidental to His anger over lack of belief. The dynamics here are more profound than human emotion.