John:11:35 is a rather perplexing verse. It, along with 1 Thessalonians:5:16 (“Rejoice evermore.”) are the shortest verses in the Bible. Why did Jesus weep? He certainly knew that He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. That verse has impressed itself on my heart of late because I have recently attended a number of funerals and memorial services of my brothers in Christ. Compounding my grief was my ministering to their widows. I wept. Why?
I was as assured as I could be that my brothers were with the Lord. I had good reasons to “Rejoice evermore.” Yet it was a struggle. Why? I believe the answer is found in verse 33: “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled….” Jesus wept.
Death, which is the consequence of sin, causes separation that in turn produces grief. It was never the intention of our loving God and Creator. He wept. Yes, we can rejoice evermore. But we should also mourn with and minister to the widows through their loss.
T. A. McMahon