The shortest verse in the Bible (the one our children like to memorize for Sunday School) -but this verse is of great importance and has very deep meaning.
The Greek words used in our text mean "the shedding of tears". That is, in a quiet, inadvertent way Jesus could no longer contain the feelings that were building up inside. Unlike the hired mourners of the day, Jesus was not bawling out loud to make an open show before men, but He was expressing true, heart felt feelings and emotions.
-Notice verse 33- the words "groaned in the spirit, and was troubled"…these words imply that Jesus was struggling and fighting off the tears. Jesus wasn't overcome with a sudden fit of emotion, but no doubt He had been battling with it for some time.
This passage of scripture shows us that Jesus has feelings and emotions. He is not a cold and insensitive Savior.
-I hope our stand for truth doesn't make that impression.
-I hope that our portrayal of Jesus isn't one of a cold and heartless Savior!
-Salvation in Christ is not some set of cold, insensitive doctrines.
-Salvation is a person; Jesus Christ…Who has feelings and emotions.
-Jesus loves sinners; He sympathizes with our infirmities.
-He makes our sorrows and heartaches His very own.
-Feelings and emotions are as much a part of Jesus as are His sovereignty, His
Holiness, His truthfulness, and His other attributes.
-To make Jesus out to be an unfeeling Savior wrong.
-just as wrong as any other error.
This passage also tells me that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) have feelings!
-The Bible teaches that God grieves over the affairs of men.
-Why should we suppose that God has no feelings!!!
-He created mankind in His own image.
-He placed within us feelings and emotions.
-Isn't this part of the image of God.
We can understand from this verse that weeping is a good thing, when it is the response to a holy emotion from a heart of love, compassion, and truth. It is not wrong to express our emotions with tears:
Some Christians may think it is wrong to cry-
-That it shows a lack of faith and trust in God- but Jesus wept! –He has all faith!
Some men may think it is unmanly to cry-
-That crying is a sign of weakness- but Jesus wept! – and He is stronger than any!
-That crying mars our integrity and credibility as men- but Jesus wept! He has more integrity and credibility than any man!
-That crying mars our "manly" image- but Jesus wept! – and He is the ideal man!
Why did Jesus weep?
We want to notice this morning some of the possible reasons why Jesus wept that day:
1. Because of His love and compassion for His people: (Heb. 2:17-18, 4:15)
-Because of His love for Lazarus- (as suggested in the context (Vs. 36)).
-Because of His love for Mary and Martha- two of His dearest children.
-Because of His love for His elect. Those who were among that number that day who were yet unsaved. There were those who were still spiritually dead in their sins who would later believe because of the great miracle (Vs.33, 43-45). Jesus is concerned about His chosen people before they are saved
2. Because of sin.
- Is it possible that Jesus' tears may have been due in part to the plight of sin and the awful effects and consequences thereof?
First, sin causes spiritual blindness and unbelief (2 Cor. 4:3-4)
-His disciples (they didn't understand what Jesus was doing notice: vs. 11-16)
-Martha and Mary (they doubted Jesus love and power notice: vs. 21-22, 32, 39-40)
-The unbelief of the mourners (notice: vs. 36-38)
-The unbelief of His betrayers (notice: vs. 45-46)
Secondly, sin brings sickness, death, and judgment! (Rom. 6:23, Heb. 9:27)
-Lazarus became sick and died because of sin!
-All men physically… perhaps Jesus wept as He solemnly contemplated the universal consequence of sin- sin devastates the entire human race and all of creation with death.
-Perhaps Jesus considered the eternal consequence of sin…eternal separation from God in the lake of fire!
-Perhaps Jesus' contemplated His own sufferings and punishment, and separation from His Father and death for our sins!
3. Because of joy- Heb. 12:1-2
Could Jesus' tears of sorrow also be mingled with joy…
First, because of the miracle He was about to perform…
-His friend to be resurrected back to life.
-His friends Mary and Martha comforted above measure.
-His lost sheep saved because they believe the miracle.
Secondly, in knowing that through His death that was rapidly approaching, that His people would be fully and finally liberated from:
-Their sin nature, which would one day be totally and finally removed.
-The effects of sin destroyed.
-Blindness of unbelief removed (Is. 11:7-9).
-Satan, the author of sin and death, destroyed forever (Heb.2:14-15).
-The bondage of sin, and suffering, and death destroyed (Rev.21:4-5)
-The curse removed from all creation (Rev. 22:1-5).
Some Lesson's God's people can Learn from Jesus' Example
According to Jesus' example, we ought to weep:
1. Because of our love and compassion for:
-Our loved one's
-Our brothers and sisters
-Our friends and neighbors
2. We ought to weep over sin and its miserable consequences:
-In our own lives
-In the lives of our neighbor
-In our communities, and our nation
3. And we ought to weep for the joy that is set before us:
-One day sin, sorry, death- and all that pertains to sin will be removed forever!
-We will dwell eternally in a sinless, healthy, happy, and glorious place in the very
presence of God!
(Sermon preached by Pastor Burke at the Faith Baptist Church of Lawtey, Florida)