In the scripture, Jesus weeping is recorded two times. In John 11: 35, He weeps for the passing of his friend Lazarus. In Luke 19:41, He weeps for the fate of Jerusalem. Now, I’m not going to say that these are the only two times he wept ever in his life-there may well have been more-but it is interesting that the scripture records these three times as they all have to do with grief. So, let’s explore this a bit.
In John, Jesus weeps over the death of Lazarus. Even though He knows he can and will raise him. Even though we might even assume that Lazarus has gone to Heaven. (I am assuming that because he is, from what we can tell in scripture, a close friend of Jesus-a follower.) Even though Jesus has PERFECT FAITH in his Father. He knows the delights and peace of Heaven like no other human could. Whether he was weeping for only the death of Lazarus, or the pain he saw in Mary and Martha, we can’t know with certainty. What we can extrapolate is that Our Lord was moved. He felt loss. He was grieved and grieving.
In Luke 19, Jesus weeps for the fate of Jerusalem. Again, even though He knows that ultimately there will be a New Jerusalem and there will be victory-he weeps. Why? Probably because He knew every soul in the city, the losses that would come, the pain the people would endure, the trials by fire and war waiting. Not just a city as we think of a city in our human way, but the individual souls that inhabit that city. He felt pain, grief, and loss, so much so that he was moved to tears.
Isaiah (53:3) tells us that the suffering Messiah would be "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. And so, we see that He is very much. We might even assume there were times when he was alone that he was moved to tears by the pain and suffering. I don’t think we’d be wrong. He weeps for grief of loss. He weeps for personal rejection. He weeps for a nation.
Anyone who tells you that if you have perfect faith you won’t feel grief or have the need of tears is just wrong. If we are trying to be more Christ-like, the compassion, the mission, the love we should have for our fellow man demands them. Tears are not a lack of faith, but as we see in His perfect example-they are the price of love.
Just some food for thought and prayer…
Here I am, Lord, send ME!
Lisa Lee Brandel, Kolbe Evangelization Chair