Do We Make Jesus Weep?

Jesus Tears “Jesus Wept”

It is the shortest verse of the 31,102 verses in the Bible.  But its significance is so easily overlooked.  We read the verse and naturally ask ourselves, “What made the Lord cry?”  Why was He so deeply affected by the situation that He was moved to tears?

The New Testament only records two times the Lord shed tears – once in Luke 19:41 when He approached His beloved city, Jerusalem, and once in John 11:35 when He is about to raise His friend, Lazarus, from the dead.

In the context of Luke 19:41, Jesus is sorry for the unbelief of the city specifically and His people, the Jews, generally.

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.   John 1:11

When His coming to die on a cross for the sins of every human being is rejected in unbelief, it breaks the heart of a loving, merciful Savior…and He weeps!


The other time Jesus weeps, in John 11:35, His sorrow is caused by believers, in fact, by close friends who know He is the Savior.  So we’ve got to ask ourselves, “What made Jesus cry in that situation?”

The story is familiar.  Starting in John 11:1, Mary and Martha send for the Lord because Lazarus, their brother and His friend, is sick.  These folks are believers Jesus knows.  When He travels to Jerusalem He stays at their home in Bethany.  This believing friend is gravely ill yet Jesus does not come.  He waits… Two days!  The Word doesn’t say He’s busy.  It doesn’t record that He had a task to finish before He could come.  It just says that once He heard Lazarus was sick, He waits.

Have you ever had a need where time was running out?  You pray and… nothing.  You ask God to move on your behalf… and He waits!  It’s happened to me.  It’s easy for us to begin to think that God just doesn’t care about us.  And then – time runs out.

In Mary and Martha’s case, Lazarus dies!  We see their anguish in verses 21 and 32.  They both express their faith mixed in with an accusation.  Basically they proclaim, “We believe you could have cured our brother BUT now he’s dead and there’s nothing you can do.  IF you would have come earlier, You could have done a miracle BUT now, it’s too late!”

And Jesus weeps.

He doesn’t weep because Lazarus is dead.  He already has a plan to raise him from the dead to the glory of God.  He doesn’t cry because He’s too late since He specifically waited until Lazarus had died.  No, Jesus weeps because these two Christ followers had a very limited faith.  They only believed He could work within the confines of their own small expectations.  Oh, they believed Jesus could heal their brother.  But they didn’t believe The Lord was capable of raising him from the dead.  They had faith to a point but no farther… and Jesus wept.

Don’t we do that very same thing?  Do we believe in Christ as our Lord and Savior yet not believe Him capable of miracles in our modern lives?  Do we pray that He will work and then put limits on how we expect Him to do that work?  Really?  Is that unlimited faith?  Is that unlimited trust?

So often in my life I have called out to God over some emergency or other.  I’ve placed a timetable on the Lord based upon what circumstances seem to be dictating.  I tell the Lord He’s got to work within a certain timeline or in a specific manner and, more often than not, He waits… and makes me wait!  Then He provides miracles in totally unexpected ways.  Ways that bring praise and glory to His name from my quivering lips.

When we read the story of Christ’s life, we see Him shedding tears twice.  Once for non-believers He loves, and once for believers He loves.  Both groups have disappointed and saddened Him with their lack of faith.  One group lacks saving faith, the other lacks living faith.

We all like to talk about seeing God’s glory…. Jesus makes that very point at the end of the story with Lazarus.  After Martha objects to Jesus opening the tomb because of the smell, Jesus lovingly asks her a question that resounds in the heart of every follower wishing to please Him,

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”   John 11:40

Jesus meant, “If you believe with no limitations on My power… no lines I cannot cross… nothing at all that I cannot do, you will see My glory!”

Do you believe Jesus Christ is God almighty?  Really?  Do you believe there is nothing He cannot do?  No timeline He can’t overcome?  That’s what He wants.  That’s acknowledging that He is indeed The All Mighty.  All Mighty.  Standing back and letting Him do anything He wants in our lives without putting any kind of limits on His miraculous working will indeed give Him glory… and dry those holy tears.

All glory to our God, the Lord, Jesus Christ!  No limits!

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”   Luke 1:37

Believing Anything Less Makes Jesus Weep

Think about it.


  • warrren powell says:

    This is good food for thought. I will indeed pray about this. What you have written is not what I believed is ‘why Jesus wept’, however I am not always right (surprise!).
    Thank you for your thoughts.
    in His love,

    • Len Allen says:

      I was also surprised by the conclusion in the text. Jesus indeed waits until his friend is dead. He knew He was going there to raise Lazarus and only weeps after both Martha and Mary bring the accusation, “If you would have been here…” The stark limitations we put on how God can work in our lives shows our lack of understanding and faith, not God’s lack of ability to do ANYTHING. In my prayers I now try not to put any expectations on how God will work. What would have blessed Christ would have been Martha and Mary saying, “We’re glad You’re here… now do whatever will give You glory, We know You can do ANYTHING at all! I’m certain Jesus would not have wept at that kind of faith. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, brother.

  • Vivian says:

    This is convicting and uplifting! To have that kind of faith is what we strive for, so reading this, you question yourself, Lord do I have that kind of faith?
    I shared this on my Facebook, and copied and pasted it into an email and sent it to some close friends. I hope you don’t mind. Always enjoy reading your posts. I thank God for your obedience and willingness to do this and share. This gave me a ray of ☀️On a dreary day!

    • Len Allen says:

      Thanks for sharing your comments and thanks for sharing my blog with others. That’s what this blog is for. I share with you and you share with others. What a blessing. I appreciate it when anyone is moved to give me blog address to anyone. So, please continue. Besides sending them a single post give them the website address: and suggest they visit… read… and if they’re blessed, they should subscribe. Subscribing insures you get my posts via email every Monday.

  • I have just changed the picture of my introductory biography. In the middle is a picture of my mother. She was very beautiful and very young at the time I think. The memories I have of her as a very little girl aged 6 or 7 was to sit beside her as she taught me to knit and tried on intricately crocheted dresses made with such love and care. Of greater importance was that she introduced me to Jesus. We made little cribs together and I believed, quite simply, in the Bible story of the Shepherds, the Star and the manger bed where He lay. She was, I am told “High Church of England”.Today, I don’t like this for it smacks of idolatry and false teaching BUT over the years I have treasured memories of a gentlewoman with elegant hands who tried to convey the most important message of all – the Gospel – to a mind barely able to understand. At Kindergarten, a teacher gave me a piece of paper with Psalm 121 and the words of that Psalm were quickened to a heart made ready to keep its divine truths; they have been typed on a pretty background, framed, and on the wall beside my piano. It has taken me too many years to comprehend their depth and significance but now I marvel at the way God has charted my course. How hard of hearing, how rebellious, how evil, how determined I have been to go the way of the world and how I have suffered the consequence for my many sins. I have always entered into things “boots and all” so I had a grand time sinning, or so I thought, and then wondered why I was always left empty and unsatisfied, broken and in tears. I learned by the University of Hard Knocks. The multiplicity of so many experiences of life have been used by God to make me and mould me nearer to His heart’s desire. Jesus must have wept as He watched me pursue my worldly ways. I feel sure He must have said “Well, if that’s the way you want to go you will find out – the hard way” and Jesus wept , He wept for me, a sinner who refused to see my life would have been so much better if it had included Him.

    • Len Allen says:

      Praise God for your testimony of God’s love. He loved Martha and Mary also… that’s why, we put limits on His might and power it hurts Him. He wants so much more for us… He wants to be a powerful God without any constraints. He wants to be that in your life. Keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.

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