Jesus hurt when his friends hurt. It’s a lot like when we hurt because our friends or our children are hurting. 

John 11: 32-35 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. 

A Verbal Efficiency 

Long the go-to for kids who had to memorize a bible verse, John 11: 35 says more than you might expect. In one two word declaration John gives us a glimpse of Jesus as a man. He was human and not without sorrow. Jesus had relationships while he was here on earth that meant something to him. He wasn’t just here saving and performing miracles and teaching so he could die to fulfill some prophecy. Here was a grown man, a leader, a human of incredible strength and power moved to tears because of the pain his friends were experiencing. Is his pain any different than the pain any parent has ever felt?

A Parent’s Pain 

I’m convinced there’s nothing more difficult than seeing the ones you love in pain. During the days following the loss of our loved ones I’ve experienced an internal heart break I find hard to describe. Watching our kids and my spouse struggle and suffer and break down, without the ability to fix it, is hard to say the least. During those times, as I wrestled with my own emotions, my own despair, the additional empathetic feelings have moved me to tears. I too have wept. This, in no way, should be misconstrued to compare me to Jesus.

Jesus’s Empathy & Love 

For one thing, Jesus hurt when those around him hurt even though he knew that all would be okay. He knew that he could fix it. Even though I as a semi-mature adult know that my loved ones’ sadness will pass I (of course) don’t have the ability to bring them back to life. Obviously, Jesus did. Additionally I think that Jesus wept because he, as the Son of God, the Son of Man, felt a kinship with all people. I believe that his love, like God’s, was so great that to see his brothers and sisters and the children of God experience this loss broke his heart. While I have definitely gone through some very difficult times and felt deeply for the pain those close to me are experiencing, my love doesn’t begin to approximate that of Jesus, nor that of God. And there’s the real lesson in “Jesus wept”.

God’s Love 

The enormity of God’s love in the person of his son Jesus, on this day, was clear for all to see. Jesus wept as a man, a friend and as God because of the sadness and pain of his people. We are his people, all of us. God sees our struggles, our difficulties and our pain and he weeps for us and with us. He is with us and in us and knows our heartache. In our sorrow, he is there. In our weakness and inability to bear the tough things that come in this life, he is there. Jesus wept. Thank God for the assurance of his love.

Something to think about 

In what pain do you most need the assurance of God’s presence and love? How have you been touched and comforted and helped in getting through your pain by God?


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