John 11:35 is a short passage. Depending on the translation, it is anywhere from two to four words long. It is most commonly translated as “Jesus wept.” The other variation is “Jesus began to weep.”
That’s it though. No diving in. Just a statement of fact.
The context here is that Jesus dear friend Lazarus has died. And we read that Jesus cried.
Does anyone else find it strange that this is the only place in the Bible that talks about Jesus crying?
Correction – there is one other reference. It’s Hebrews 5:7, which states: “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. ”
But you don’t get the same feel as in John 11:35.
But again, I find it rather odd that Jesus only cried once during his three-year ministry.
Apparently, Jesus was macho man – never cried, except for the death of a dear and close friend.
I wonder how Jesus reacted to each person that rejected him and the Good News? How many times was his heart-broken by “disciples” that followed him until it was too difficult. How many times did he feel like he was gut punched by “friends” who rejected him, betrayed him, and turned away from him.
How many poor, hungry, sick, and dying people did he encounter? How many times did he witness people being stifled and dehumanized by groups in power who demanded the letter of the law?
And we’re supposed to believe that he only cried once? Really?
I think he cried often. I think the world broke his heart many times. I think his heart was broken by some of the closest people to him and he wept for them. I think he experienced great sorrow when someone rejected him and the Good News that came from him. I think he groaned heavy sighs of sorrow each time he was confronted by people who were convinced they were right and Jesus was wrong – people who had no openness to the Good News.
I think this because Jesus was both fully God and fully human. This is a part of what it means to be human – to experience great sorrow and to cry. And I think it happened more than just at the news of the death of a dear friend.
I think Jesus cried a lot.