Why does Jesus weep before Mary, the deceased Lazarus’ sister? And again, why does He weep over Jerusalem?
All those who have read my article “Man of Sorrows” will find no difficulty in understanding this. As I keep reiterating, churches have been in vain but nevertheless persistently portraying the Lord as just another ‘man’ so that ‘men’ who run these churches may continue to bask in its suggestive glory. It does not trouble them that Truth is lost to the masses and that just as it testifies in Isa 52:5, because of it, God’s holy Name is “CONSTANTLY blasphemed ALL DAY LONG.”
Misinterpreting “Jesus wept” is a case in point. The ludicrous interpretation given to the ‘titled’ verse ‘Jesus wept’, taken from Jn 11:35, by these phoney ‘teachers’ is as much a testimony to their effusing arrogance as it is to their utter lack of knowledge of the lofty and surpassing ways and thoughts of the Lord. Refer Isa 55:8-9, Isa 40:18, Isa 42:8, 48:11, Ps 50:21 etc.
Perhaps, as some would argue, the concept of Jesus weeping before the bereft and grieving Mary who was the sister of the deceased Lazarus might help to bring some comfort to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. But then, think again! For, isn’t it just an emotional comfort; yes, emotional and therefore merely carnal and temporal (not forgetting presumptuous!) in nature and not at all Spiritual and eternal as it ought to be?
Spiritually speaking, it truly does not hold any water!
Isn’t it simply ridiculous to even think that Jesus who had insisted Lazarus had only fallen asleep (Jn 11:11) and that He was going to wake him up (Jn 11:11b & 23) will suddenly be found mourning his ‘death’ along with Mary?
Let us look at a few other examples of same nature:
We find the same kind of erroneous allusion in Matt 8:24 which seems to literally suggest that Jesus was ‘actually’ sleeping while a storm was raging!
Therefore, as it happened, it was only right that Jesus should reprimand them for their lack of faith (Matt 8:26a).
And, pray, why not? For isn’t it written, “… He who watches over Israel WILL NEITHER SLUMBER NOR SLEEP.” (Ps 121:4) Just as Jesus Himself reiterates, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” (Jn 5:17). Also refer Ps 127:2b, “Unless the Lord watches over the City, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”
The Spiritual or the godly are not those who are led by logistics but by the Spirit of God. This is why the Word of God teaches of the Peace of God which transcends all understanding to guard our hearts and minds (Phil 4:7). In His own words, Jn 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Likewise, the verse in Matt 4:2 which states that after fasting forty days and nights Jesus was hungry! And this even after Jesus had disproved it once and for all by refusing to change the stones to bread! Refer Matt 4:3-4.
How much more will one go about belittling and dishonoring Him Who is the Word Incarnate, in Whom is the Words of Eternal Life and Who is Himself Life? For hasn’t He Himself testified, “The Bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives Life to the world.” (Jn 6:33).
Refer Jn 6:68, Jn 3:16 etc., and try to understand exactly how was the Word of God absolutely fulfilled and proven in Him which states, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Next is Matt 4:11. Again, those who know the Word of God will know that angels worship the ‘Triumphant Lord” and serve Him or obey His bidding (eg. Rev 5:11-12, Rev 7:11).
In other words, just as Rev 5:11-12, Rev 7:11 etc. demonstrate, angels do not minister to the ‘Lamb who was slain’. Rather, they WORSHIP Him. Therefore, the words ‘attended Him’ in Matt 4:11 simply means, ‘worshiped Him’.
Indeed, it was not a time of fatigue or weakness, as some would like to see it portrayed, but a testament of Great Triumph for each one of us to learn from and emulate. It calls for more worship. That is exactly what the angels of God do unto Him who alone is worthy of all worship, honor, strength, wealth, wisdom, glory and praise! And that is exactly what the angels invoke us to do too at all times (eg. Rev 5:12-13, Rev 19:10 etc.).
Again, it is the same when it seems to suggest that while He lay ‘dying’ upon the cross, Jesus was offered vinegar to quench His ‘thirst’. Jn 19:28 states clearly it was “so that the ‘said’ Scripture would be fulfilled.” And not because Jesus was ‘man’ enough to cry out in thirst!
Same goes for the word ‘dying’. To human eyes, it was death but the Truth is He was of His own accord entering Death and Hades – for a purpose. Death and Hades had no power over Him. So, just as He had entered it, He exited it after having accomplished His divine purpose. Refer Jn 10:18.
Reverting to the title, so why did Jesus weep? The answer is, the same reason why Jesus wept for Jerusalem (Lk 19:41). Messiah wept for Mary just as He had wept for Jerusalem because she had also fallen behind in spite of the wonderful testimony she’d maintained until then!
Before we continue on Mary, let us read Lk 19:32 and understand what He states of Jerusalem at the time, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you PEACE..” Also, Lk 13:34b, “…Often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but you were not willing..”
And even though because of the obstinate defiance of the people of Jerusalem, this peace will remain hidden to Jerusalem until the prescribed time (Lk 19:32b, Lk 13:35), it did not remain hidden to Mary.
Why? Because right from the time she had come to know the Lord, she had demonstrated exemplary Spiritual insight and a wonderful testimony of ‘godly character’. For example, refer Lk 10:39 & 42.
And it was only a matter of briefest interlude before she was restored to her full Spirited zeal and vigor. We find the Lord Himself, true to His amazing Love and Saving nature, reaching out to her yet again at that time of ‘total dejection’ she was feeling. For there was His ‘elect’ who had never wavered in her faith – never, not even at that time of her great distress (Jn 11:32), yet had become so overwhelmed by her sorrow that she had begun to doubt her own worthiness.
Understand that it was because she had regressed into feelings of self-reproach and unworthiness that upon hearing Jesus was coming, she could not bring herself to go to Him like Martha had (Jn 11:20).
It is indeed not uncommon to find many believers who like Mary begin to question their worthiness in the face of an unexpected tragedy or an unanswered prayer. “Perhaps God does not love me after all; perhaps it is my past sinful life; perhaps I am not worthy of His love and forgiveness; perhaps I am being punished for all my wrongdoing…etc. etc.” are some of the many thoughts that assail them. Often I come across people of supposedly long-standing faith who ask, “Why me?” when they are suddenly gripped by such overwhelming grief!
So it was with Mary! But, ONLY UNTIL SHE WAS INFORMED THAT THE LORD WAS ASKING FOR HER! For, no sooner had she heard those words, she wasted no time and hastened to meet Him (Jn 11:28-29).
What a comfort it must have been to her to know that not only was Jesus coming but He was asking for her in particular! What a blessed honor! What a blessed joy!
Knowing Him who is the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25-26) and reawakening to His saving grace brought about such a blessed transformation in her. From then on her testimony grew from strength to strength. Soon, she went on to become the FIRST recruit to preach the wonderful Gospel of the “resurrected Messiah” (Jn 20:17).
And what is more? Ref Mk 14:9, “I tell you the truth, wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Yes, she had in turn come to partake of the eternal testimony of God for herself – that joyful vindication we all so eagerly await!