31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. (John 11:31-35 NIV)
Mary and Martha were Jesus’ friends. Lazarus, their brother, was Jesus’ friend. Jesus knew what Mary and Martha could not know so He chose to stay in Jerusalem two days after He had been told that Lazarus was ill. Jesus finally left Jerusalem. Martha heard that Jesus was nearing Bethany. She went out to meet Him, to let Jesus know that Lazarus had died. She said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21 NIV) Jesus tried to reassure her that her brother would rise again, but Martha didn’t get it. She went back to her home, found her sister Mary, and told her that Jesus was asking for her. When Mary went out to meet Jesus she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32 NIV)
There were other people there that day with Martha and Mary. Friends, neighbors, and relatives were there who loved them and loved Lazarus. They were there to help shoulder the sorrow of their friends. They were there to “weep with those who weep” and to try and comfort the brokenhearted family. Jesus saw what was happening and John tells us, “He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” How “moved” was Jesus? What was He “moved” about? Well, some might try to convince us that He was “moved and troubled” because of their lack of faith, but don’t you dare buy that. Jesus was moved by the sorrow of His friends. He was moved by the outpouring of the mourners’ love that was encircling Mary and Martha. Jesus was so moved that He wept. Imagine that. The God of glory wiping tears from His cheeks.
As I read the Scriptures I don’t find Jesus weeping for Himself, but I do find Him touched by the sorrow, sadness, and struggles of others. His heart broke for His friends Mary and Martha. He was moved to tears.
And in the 19th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, I find Jesus on a hill, looking over the Holy City of Jerusalem and weeping as He thought about the destruction that was coming to the city in the future. His heart broke for the people of Jerusalem. Jesus wept.
I believe with all of my heart that Jesus still weeps. He weeps when our hearts are broken. When we have lost all hope. When sorrow and sadness hold us like a straitjacket. His tears do not diminish His Sovereignty. His tears do not betray His Omnipotence. His tears display His love for you and for me. For those who are reading this through tears–know that you are not alone. There is a Savior who not only weeps over you, but who is able to dry your tears and restore your hope. Don’t believe me? Just ask Mary and Martha.