I am from CT
I joined because I read a supposedly Biblical commentary on the shortest verse in the Bible. Jesus wept.
I thought to myself “this Brother is looking at this verse from the wrong angle”. Is this even Biblical? Isn’t he taking it out of context?
The author says that Jesus entered into Mary’s grief, but if so why did He not come days earlier before Mary had a reason to grieve? Didn’t she ask this herself?
The answer lies in John 11:4 …“This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
If that wasn’t enough then ask yourself how is it possible that the “Jews” who never got it right about Jesus, but were totally in the dark about who He is, suddenly have such brilliant insight?
He groaned and deeply agonized, for what? A man He was going to shortly raise from the dead, or was it that the Jews and those who knew Him still didn’t get it?
We, being created in His image, are like the Godhead. we are triune, created with body, soul, and spirit. Our soul is also triune, made up of mind, emotions, and will.
Our mind there fore can affect our emotions and our will. Our will can affect our emotions and our mind, And our emotions, which seem easily swayed, can affect our mind and our will.
I agree Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses, Heb 4:15, so I look forward to what the team has to say about this scene in Jesus’ life.
Welcome to the Connect @Benjy!
This is an intriguing topic and question you’ve brought to the forum and I look forward to what others might have to say as well!
Welcome to the connect @Benjy!
In John 11:14-15, Jesus says “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.”
Here we see Jesus’ mission for going. But before that, John states in verse 5 how Jesus loved Martha, and her sister (Mary) and Lazarus. So I do see that He could’ve been sympathizing with her, but at the same time, a possibility is that He was weeping because of their unbelief (as we see in verses 8-10 a little background of the Jews). I see both of these possibilities and it could’ve been a little bit of both.
Those are just some of my thoughts, and I look forward to hearing more on this topic
May God be with you on your journey for truth!
Welcome aboard @Benjy. Thanks for joining us and thanks for you input. I hope you enjoy the conversations and engage actively. And please do encourage new members and others who have questions. God-bless you and your journey.
Good questions and thoughts you have there about this verse!
Among many other things that could be said about Jesus’ weeping in this situation, I’m sure that like me, it gives you great comfort to know that Jesus feels and that He cares deeply. Death brings much emotion in any situation, and I’m struck that some of Jesus’ emotions mentioned here are “deeply troubled” and deep anger. I’m intrigued that Jesus weeping is described with with the Greek word edakrysen in contrast to the the weeping of other mourners which is the Greek word klaiontas - wailing. As you so rightly said, there is no doubt that Jesus was doing what Hebrews 4:15 describes, being touched with the feeling of our infirmities. As you’ve noted, He was about to raise this man from the dead, so I don’t believe it was hopelessness. His anger was surely not towards the grief-stricken sisters, but more likely towards the last enemy- death.
Could it be that this anger and emotional pain was perfect, measured, and a part of building to a crescendo- the Cross, where Jesus’ rage against that enemy which had separated His creation from Him, would be defeated, bringing of the whole of Creation back into its wonderful position- under His authority (Eph. 1:10)- the place of life?
Whatever the reasons for Jesus’ tears, I love it that He weeps with us in our grief, but gives this unshakeable assurance that the Cross has done its job, and that death will be no more. Hallelujah!
I’m sure that somewhere along the line, death has cruelly entered into your experience, or that of your family, and I’m sure that Jesus’ empathy with you has been a blessing to you too.
Grace and peace, David,
Here are a few more good questions. Why were the “Jews” there consoling Martha and Mary? Weren’t they known followers of Jesus? Is it possible that they had $$$ or influence, Jn 12:1-5?
Jesus does not show any annoyance when Martha comes to Him, why when Mary arrives? What changed?
So, how does recognizing Jesus’ emotion in this passage help us correctly interpret what God wants to show us through this passage?
What is this pericope teaching us? Where does it start and where does it end and does knowing this affect how we exegete this passage?
If you are unfamiliar with the term pericope it is, in effect, a thought grouping or theme or purpose. Each book of the Bible has at least one with many having multiple themes or reasons for being written. John’s is to show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
As I see it there are two basic pericopes imposed upon the Bible. God’s when He it put into the minds of men of old to write what He showed them, and the Roman Catholic pericope imposed upon the Bible by a 12th C. monk when he added verse numbers, chapter numbers and of course chapter breaks to scripture. In some areas he did well but in other areas (where the Biblical thought is cut off by a new chapter beginning) he did not do so well, but as they say to err is human.
We, as Christians, are called to interpret Scripture correctly which means irregardless of our emotions, feelings. and societal mores. In effect, we are to try to attempt to comprehend how the original church who were hearing it read to them would have understood it. or to have it explained to them.
One of the tools for accomplishing this is the use of pericope. What was the original theme or purpose of the book/passage currently in view?
What is the theme of the Gospel of John? Does the pericope of this passage, most likely starting in chapter 11 verse 1 and ending in chapter 23 verse 11, seek to show Jesus’ emotional state or Jesus’ as the Christ as is the original purpose of the book?
One must always keep in mind that there are two basic types of pericope. One is God-centered and one is man-centered. One is impressed into the fabric of Scripture by God, as the overseeing editor of Scripture, with a specific purpose for that Scripture within the body of all Scripture.
The other was imposed upon Scripture by a 12th C Roman Catholic monk who devised a system of verse numbers within chapter numbers and paragraph breaks within chapter breaks which may or may not reflect God’s overall purpose for that portion or pericope of Scripture. Whatever is said about this or can be said about this is moot, as this is how all modern Bibles are printed, except in the area of exegesis where we have to get it right for Scripture guides us into a right relationship with God.
Joanna, you state the that the mission for Jesus delaying to go is stated in John 11:14-15, what about verse 16? How does his statement reflect on Jesus overall mission? What kind of statement is it? Clean, clear, cold logic or is there a bit of emotion attached, a bit of human thinking added on?
Consider this, what would the disciples understood about Jesus reaction to either the Jews attaching themselves to His favorite sister and coming to usurp attention to themselves or Jesus’ own feeling of helplessness before nature? Which would have discipled Jesus followers?
Also, were the Jews ever right about Jesus? Asking myself this question was my catalyst to understanding this passage. That is, of course, if I have rightly understood it.
You are correct this is an intriguing question, but why?
All Scripture is intriguing because while it was written by humans, the composition was entirely in God’s hands. So our task is to determine what Scripture has to say to us at the time we are reading it and is that interpretation which we are imposing upon Scripture in line with the rest of Scripture or does it possibly do violence to Scripture? I am remembering my first pastor, who is now a missionary seminary professor in Ukraine, asking our gathering “Would you lie for God?”. The implication being that we do not have to apologize for Scripture. God said it, now believe it or don’t believe it.
This verse and the whole of the story of Jesus weeping is truly the epiphany of how our Lord who became man took on the emotions and suffering of man that he wept for his friend Lazarus. The emotional loss of losing someone dear to Him. Even knowing full well that he would raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus portrayed the grief he knew that even with this miracle Lazarus would die one day but not that day.
When we look at John 11:23-25 and the conversation between Mary and Jesus where even Mary knew that Jesus would raise her brother but in verse 25, Jesus clearly points out that He is the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Him, though he dies, yet shall he live.
Death of our mortal existence is a stepping stone to much more and only through Jesus Christ can we find that salvation even in our sinful state. The Jews then did not know, and even Mary.
When we look at how Ravi Zacharias sums it up elegantly “Jesus did not come to make bad people, good. Jesus came to make dead people, live” that incredible significance of Jesus’s actions that leads up to that moment on the cross.
Even his followers did not know and never understood only after Pentecost. How would any Jew then know the significance of our God coming to save us all?
It is the cross that personifies the sacrifice out of Love, Obedience of the Father and Salvation for all humanity.
I hope this helps and God Bless
No, it doesn’t help. It does not answer the question, “Why did Jesus weep?”.
What I am asking for is good exegesis based upon what the original hearers would have understood. You ended you reply with “I hope this helps and God bless” as if saying this is the final word, case closed, don’t bother to reply. Is that really what you meant?
I agree with what Ravi said “…Jesus came to make dead people live”. The question is, why? A warm and fuzzy feeling? Temporary relief from a permanent condition? That’s what we have in Jesus raising Lazarus if Jesus is not the Christ. If Jesus is not the Christ then we are the most to be pitied above all men, 1 Cor 15:12-19.
I believe the answer to why “Jesus wept” lies in examining the whole pericope associated with this short statement about Jesus and not the statement itself.
At the beginning of the pericope Jesus is informed that Lazarus (Heb. Eleazer - whom God helps) is sick and states that the sickness will not lead to death, but he did die. So, what was Jesus’ point to His disciples? They were the original audience.
I usually find that when I use an interrogatory (who, what where, when, why, how) on a verse or set of verses questions become clearer. So, who are the who involved in this scene/pericope and what is their role in revealing what God wants revealed?
(For a personal Bible study that will help me grow in Christ I apply a SPECK test to the verse or verses in question. Sins to avoid. Promises to claim. Examples to follow. Commands to obey. Knowledge to store and share.)
The scene starts with Jesus’ disciples Martha, Mary, and Lazarus at the beginning of chapter 11 and, from my view, doesn’t end until chapter 12:10 where the chief priests plot to kill Lazarus, innocent and uncondemned, just because he is an impediment to their desires and a boon to belief in Jesus as the Christ, the son of God.
As has been pointed out, in another related post, the Gk. Word used for the Jews weeping is not the same word used when Jesus wept. Why? Wasn’t the sorrow experienced by both parties over the death of Lazarus exactly the same or was one sorrowing over something completely different? Motive plays a big part in understanding why people act a certain way.
The Gospels, and John’s Gospel in particular, were written for belief in Jesus as the Christ, right? “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 Jn 5:11-12
Jesus did not come to assuage temporary feelings and emotions. He came to atone for sin.
As far as showing how deeply Jesus cared for His disciples one need go no farther than the cross where He gave His life to pay for the sins we have committed that rightly deserve eternal death. Is 53:6
Jesus came into the world to give His life a ransom for many, MK 10:4-5, and He has said that He will not lose one of those whom the father has given Him, Jn 6:35-40.
Jesus taught His love and concern for all His sheep in the parable of the lost sheep, LK 15:4-6? Why then would Jesus want to teach the disciples that they could expect what equates to a hug when they needed their sins forgiven? Why was this Gospel written in the first place? If we are to understand any part of the whole we must first understand the whole and interpret it in light of that understanding.
First and foremost I want to apologise if my answer did not provide any comfort to your question. “I hope this helps and God Bless” was my humble effort in providing an answer in hope that it could help you understand what the verse meant. I apologize if It sounded like I was being rude or dismissive.
In my humble opinion, and my humble knowledge of scripture the text “Jesus wept” does not provide a theological exegesis or hermeneutical interpretation from the point of view of anyone present there. I believe it would have been normal for anyone to weep upon seeing a dear friend die. Lest of all when you had an opportunity to be there before he died. Jesus wept like anyone else there. Nobody at that exact moment knew that the cross to come would be Jesus’s moment of glory. So how can we bring significance into why Jesus wept through the eyes of anyone there. But because we Christians today live in recognition to what Jesus has done we now can understand the significance of that moment
So why the weeping? Here are three reasons why Jesus wept
1. Jesus wept for the pain of his friends.
He saw the suffering of the people and the pain death causes. Jesus deeply cared about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary was the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with ointment and wiped them with her hair (JOHN 11:2). and Martha had previously welcomed Jesus into her home, although she was distracted at the time. (LUKE 10:38-42)
Although He already knows this happened to glorify God and that in a few minutes Lazarus would return to them, He felt their pain. He was empathetic to their loss.
When you genuinely care about someone, when they hurt, you hurt. Jesus’ weeping here shows His true care and love for us. God never takes our pain lightly even if He knows He will restore everything we’ve lost. Like a good Father, He does not want to see us in pain, even if He knows that pain will lead to a greater good. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone who is hurting is our presence and sharing in their suffering.
There is a Swedish proverb that says: “Shared joy is a double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow.”
Jesus wanted to take on their pain, reminding us that no matter what hurts or pains we face in life, Jesus is right here with us. He’s not afraid to meet us in our despair and darkness. He’s the first one to meet us in our valleys. Jesus wept because those He loved wept.
2. Jesus wept for their lack of faith.
The second reason Jesus wept was because of the lack of faith He saw around Him. When Jesus first told His disciples they would head back to Judea, they reminded Him that the last time He was in Judea He was almost stoned. They were operating in fear and not faith. As they attempted to discourage Jesus from returning to Judea, Jesus responded:
“Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus has died, and for your sake, I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” (JOHN 11:14-16)
Jesus intentionally waited to go to Lazarus to bring God glory once Lazarus was raised from the dead. Still, the disciples planned to go to Judea with Jesus to die with Him. As we’ve already read, once Jesus reached Judea, Mary and Martha warned Jesus that it’s too late. Lazarus had been dead for days. There is no way, they believed, he can come back to life. When Jesus told Martha that He would still raise her brother, she reasoned:
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’" (JOHN 11: 23-24)
Martha believed Lazarus would one day rise again, but not that day. Jesus reminded her:
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ (JOHN 11:25-26)
“He knows it’s our faith that leads to our salvation, peace, and joy.”**
Jesus wanted the people to believe in Him. Still, they seemed to be focused on whether Jesus got to Judea on time. They were concerned with Jesus’ timing being too late as well as the fact that Lazarus was probably starting to smell (JOHN 11:39)
Jesus was grieved because all the answers to their needs were right in front of them, yet they seemed to miss it. They seemed to miss the power of Jesus. This lack of faith made Jesus weep because what He truly wants from us is our faith.
“And without faith *it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (HEB 11:6)
There were not many people who impressed Jesus, but the few who did all had one thing in common: a bold faith in Him. Jesus wants us to believe in Him – not to make Himself feel better – but because He knows it’s our faith that leads to our salvation, peace, and joy that we can only find in Him.
3. Jesus wept for his coming suffering.
Jesus wept because Lazarus’s death and resurrection reflected His. Jesus knew within a short time He too would die and be placed in a tomb. He knew He would ultimately overcome death and rise from the dead just like Lazarus, but He also knew it would be an extremely difficult road to walk. Closer to His death Jesus prayed:
*“And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (MARK 14:36)
He didn’t want to die on the cross, but He did want to glorify His Father.
We may sometimes weep in this fallen world, but in Jesus, we have a greater hope. (PSALM 126: 5-6) tells us:
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy. He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Jesus had to suffer; He had to endure the pain. He had to weep so that one day we don’t have to. (REVELATION 21:4) encourages us in this hope:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
I am only a humble servant of Christ and offer my simple thoughts to your question.
No matter what " May God Bless You"
Thank you for your well reasoned response. or should I say defense of the position that these 2 English words define how Jesus felt about a human being and therefore about all humanity.
This is what you are saying after all, that Jesus, because He loved one of us so much, shows how much He loved all of us, so much.
Hadn’t He already proved that by the incarnation, at the cross?
Doesn’t the whole creation story, the entire book of genesis, put into perspective what God’s relationship to man and man’s relationship to God is?
Hadn’t God already proved how much He loved people when He reprimanded the Prophet Jonah for caring more for the one plant God had provided for him than the whole population of Nineveh? More correctly, didn’t God reprimand Jonah for assigning human characteristics to God and therefore elevating himself as the definer of how God views right and wrong?
The ultimate question in view here is why did Jesus weep?
The question here is also about love. Who did Jesus love, and who defined or assigned that condition to Jesus?
We must all remember, as I am sure you do, that context is one of the keys to understanding what was said so we can glorify God with that understanding.
Isn’t it interesting that the first mention of Jesus’ love, in this context, is from the lips of both sisters of the then ill Lazarus, Jn11:3? Why?
Were they making a statement about Jesus or about their brother? Were they speaking more about Jesus’ love for lazarus or theirs?
Where do the Gospels, or the N. T., show that Jesus cared for and loved Lazarus other than here in these verses?
Yet this is the premise, the whole tone of the dialogue that has been accepted as the only interpretation of this text; but is it right?
If it is correct that Jesus’ love of Lazarus is the premise for this dialogue then who set it, who crafted it to be so?
There are only two possible answers, aren’t there? Well, only one credible answer, God.
Is this then a test of our understanding of Who God is and who we are?
Are we going to pull a Jonah, so to speak?
What is this whole pericope designed to say to us and our perspective about Scripture, on Jesus’ part to play in it, and about our role.
All must contribute to the goal, to the reason for everything, to the fait accompli.
God, after all, is omnipotent and His will is accomplished.
What about us, our pride and egos and love of self say, don’t the sheep count? Romans 8:36.
If, as had been stated, Lazarus is loved by Jesus why did He delay two whole days before going to Lazarus aid?
It is also stated that Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, in that order, Jn 11:5. Mary isn’t even named. Why?
Is Jesus’ love for Mary somehow different then the love He had for Martha and Lazarus?
What about Jesus’ disciples? They warned Him that going to Bethany was a death sentence, Jn 11:8.
What did He say to them? Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. Jn 11:9 (emphasis mine)
Is this pericope really about Lazarus and jesus’ love for him?
Jn 11:14-15 "Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” (emphasis mine)
What exactly were the disciples supposed to believe, and how did it concern Lazarus?
When they get to Bethany, 2 miles from Jerusalem, they are first greeted by Martha who reveals just Who Jesus is.
Then she goes and tells her sister who, coming with the Jews, says the same thing Martha said but not testify to Who Jesus is.
Could the presence of the Jews have been a factor here?
She is weeping (Gk. klaiō), the jews are weeping (Gk. klaiō) and because of this Jesus "was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.”
The community standards for this blog read no “self-promotion of your own blog, website book, events, or products”.
This does not to say that we cannot cite commentaries which, although not written by God and therefore not inspired, were written by those of a usually greater understanding of the subject which therefore can lend a better understanding of the subject.
The goal, as I understand it, is a better understanding of Scripture, not to win an argument or disagreement overScripture.
With that in mind here are some thoughts from better than I at understanding these verses.
11:33–34. In great contrast with the Greek gods’ apathy or lack of emotion, Jesus’ emotional life attests the reality of His union with people. Deeply moved may either be translated “groaned” or more likely “angered.” The Greek word enebrimēsato (from embrimaomai) seems to connote anger or sternness. (This Gr. verb is used only five times in the NT, each time of the Lord’s words or feelings: Matt. 9:30; Mark 1:43; 14:5; John 11:33, 38.)
Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 314). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
It is difficult to know exactly what is meant by the phrase his heart was touched. RSV translates “deeply moved in spirit”; NEB “he sighed heavily”; NAB “he was troubled in spirit”; JB “said in great distress”; Gdsp “repressing a groan”; Mft “chaffed in spirit”; Phps “deeply moved.” Etymologically the words mean “to snort like a horse,” and in the Septuagint of Daniel 11:30 it means “to be enraged” or “to be greatly angry.” This same verb appears again in verse 38; elsewhere it is used of Jesus in addressing the leper whom he afterward cleansed (Mark 1:43), and in addressing the blind man whose sight he had restored (Matt 9:30). In both these instances TEV renders with the meaning “to speak harshly to.” In Mark 14:5 this verb is used of the anger of the guests in the house of Simon the leper toward the woman who poured the expensive perfume on Jesus’ head (TEV they criticized her harshly). In the present context GeCL, Zür, and Luther Revised all have the idea of “to become angry”; NAB provides a note: “he was troubled in spirit … deepest emotions: probably signifies that Jesus was angry, perhaps at the lack of faith or at the presence of evil (death).” It is impossible to conclude that anything less than anger is meant here or in verse 38. The use of this verb and its cognates, both in the New Testament and elsewhere, clearly implies anger. Evidently the translations which attempt to remove the concept of anger from these verses do so on theological rather than linguistic or exegetical grounds. The actual basis for Jesus’ anger is not explicitly indicated, but the contents of verse 33 and verse 37 imply that it was caused by the immature faith of the Jews who were present. (emphasis mine)
Newman, B. M., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on the Gospel of John (p. 371). New York: United Bible Societies.
When Jesus saw all this, ‘he was outraged in spirit, and troubled’ (my transl.). To justify so radical a departure from the NIV’s he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled, two questions must be addressed.
(1) What does the crucial word embrimaomai actually mean? In extra-biblical Greek, it can refer to the snorting of horses; as applied to human beings, it invariably suggests anger, outrage or emotional indignation. In the New Testament, it occurs twice in this chapter (cf. v. 38), and elsewhere only in Matthew 9:30; Mark 1:43; 14:5; and in a textual variant to Matthew 12:18. Not only this word but its cognates as well move in this sphere of meaning. Beasley-Murray (pp. 192–193) points out that German translations get it right; most English translations soften the passage to ‘he groaned in spirit’, ‘he sighed heavily’, ‘he was deeply touched’ or, as here, ‘he was deeply moved in spirit’—all without linguistic justification. The phrase in spirit is not in dispute. It does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but is roughly equivalent to ‘in himself’: his inward reaction was anger or outrage or indignation. John adds that he was troubled,12 the same strong verb used in 12:27; 13:21. It is lexically inexcusable to reduce this emotional upset to the effects of empathy, grief, pain or the like.
(2) At what, then, was Jesus angry? The suggestion that the grief of the sisters and of the Jews is almost forcing a miracle upon him, arousing his wrath (so Barrett, p. 399; cf. 2:4; 4:48; 6:26) is countered by the fact that Jesus has already expressed his own determination to perform the miracle (v. 11). It is equally unjustified to think that Jesus is upset because he judges the mourning of the Jews to be hypocritical. The text does not cast their mourning in a different light to that of Mary, and in any case John, unlike the Synoptists, does not focus on the hypocrisy of the Jews (he never uses hypokrisis and related words). Even if we note that Jesus’ visceral response occurs when Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, two interpretations are possible. Some think that Jesus is moved by their grief, and is consequently angry with the sin, sickness and death in this fallen world that wreaks so much havoc and generates so much sorrow. Others think that the anger is directed at the unbelief itself. The men and women before him were grieving like pagans, like ‘the rest of men, who have no hope’ (1 Thes. 4:13). Profound grief at such bereavement is natural enough; grief that degenerates to despair, that pours out its loss as if there were no resurrection, is an implicit denial of that resurrection.
Perhaps these two interpretations are not irreconcilable. With most of us, to be angry with someone is inconsistent with being loving and empathetic toward that person. With Jesus, as with his Father, the antithesis breaks down. This is the Jesus who could utter his terrible ‘woes’ (Mt. 23), yet grieve over the city of Jerusalem (Mt. 23:37–39). Christians themselves, ‘like the rest … were by nature objects of [God’s] wrath’ (Eph. 2:3), even though ‘In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will’ (Eph. 1:4–5). So also here. The one who always does what pleases his Father (8:29) is indignant when faced with attitudes that are not governed by the truths the Father has revealed. If sin, illness and death, all devastating features of this fallen world, excite his wrath, it is hard to see how unbelief is excluded. But the world that is at enmity with God is also the object of God’s love (cf. notes on 3:16), so it is not surprising that when he was shown the tomb where the body lay, Jesus wept. The verb wept (dakryō) is different from that describing the weeping of Mary and the Jews (klaiō): it means ‘to shed tears’, but usually in lament before some calamity. It is unreasonable to think that Jesus’ tears were shed for Lazarus, since he knew he was about to raise him from the dead (v. 11). Rather, the same sin and death, the same unbelief, that prompted his outrage, also generated his grief. Those who follow Jesus as his disciples today do well to learn the same tension—that grief and compassion without outrage reduce to mere sentiment, while outrage without grief hardens into self-righteous arrogance and irascibility.
11:36–37. Jesus’ display of emotion is interpreted in two ways by the Jews, both interpretations curiously right and wrong. To some, Jesus’ tears before Lazarus’ tomb testified how he loved (phileō; cf. notes on v. 3) him. Their conclusion was true: Jesus did love Lazarus and his sisters (v. 5), but Jesus’ tears were scarcely evidence of it in the way the Jews imagined it, for they understood his grief to be as despairing as their own. Others remembered the spectacular healing of the man born blind (ch. 9; Jerusalem was not far away, v. 18), and wondered why someone who could heal so powerfully could not have prevented the death of a friend he obviously loved. At one level their reasoning is sound: Jesus did heal the blind man, and he could have prevented Lazarus from dying. There is no need to suppose that their attitude was sneering, that their confidence that Jesus had healed the blind man was dissembled. They were puzzled and confused. Nevertheless, even to ask the question in this way betrays massive unbelief. It is the unbelief of the person whose faith does not rest on who Jesus is and what he has revealed of the Father, but on displays of power. Such inchoate ‘faith’ is so weak it constantly demands new signs and miracles (cf. notes on 4:48; 6:30–31). This unbelief is the reason the next verse reports that Jesus’ quiet outrage flares up again (the verb is embrimaomai, as in v. 33).
Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (pp. 415–417). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.
Luke, I believe the heart, the core, of this pericope is our understanding Jesus’ relationship to us individually?
What dictates His’ relationship to us, His love for us or His love for the Father?
Jesus’ love for the Father never changes because His relationship with and to the Father never changes, but Jesus’ love for us is based upon our relationship with and to Him, not the other way around. Those who do not have a relationship to Him He loves less as Esau was loved less than Jacob. They still enjoy life, Mt 5:45, as we also enjoy life but this is as far as it goes. Our relationship to Jesus, and therefore His love for us, is based upon Jn 14:21 " Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Luke, there will always be disagreements over how exactly to interpret Scripture. Unfortunately, many hold to their own view no matter what. I know I have in the past and probably still do. That’s the nature of being human. "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24
Thanks be to God, we are unified in the love of Jesus, no matter what.
In light of eternity, who is right and who is wrong about individual pericopes of Scripture, matters little.
Jesus matters. Faith in Jesus matters.
With faith comes obedience, at least it should. Php 2:12-13.