Jesus Wept

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Sun, Dec 30, 2018

Teacher: Eli Bernard Series: Stand Alone Sermons Scripture: John 11

December 30, 2018

Jesus Wept

John 11

John 11:17-20
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

Here we see the cast of players in this video:
1. Mary and Martha
2. Many Jews!
- Friends and Family
- Those who believed
- Professional Mourners
- Unbelievers
- Loyal Jews:

John 11:45-46
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.


John 11:21-22
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

It sounds like she was saying that she had already made up her mind that Jesus did not want Lazarus to live.  We know, that even if Jesus had been there, He would have allowed Lazarus to die –  And absolutely, God gives Jesus EVERYTHING He asks for. But her comments were not those of a strong faith hoping for a better outcome; they were comments of confidence that He had failed to act.


John 11:23-30
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”

29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.


John 11:32-37
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”


John 11:38-43
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

The love of Christ is not intended to be captured and isolated in snapshot. Rather, It is intended to be lived out in the video of life.

While there is some truth in a snapshot, the full truth can only be discovered in the video. The actual replay of everything that happened before, during, and after just can’t be known from a snapshot We must look further see what was really going on.


I think this is why Paul lived his life forgetting the snapshots. Paul lived in the video. 

Philippians 3:13-14
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.



1. Jesus wept because of the struggle that Lazarus had to endure for God to be Glorified.

John 11:11
…he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

Jesus knew that death without salvation means eternal separation from the Father.

When Lazarus died:
• Sin had not yet been paid for.
• The grave had not yet been defeated.
• Death still had her sting.
• Decay was still the rule of the day.
• And there was no path to God for the sinner.

Lazarus died in his sin, and was completely and utterly separated from God, and Jesus let him. Every comment and accusation that was made to Him about “if you had only…”, reminded him of what He had allowed. 

Struggle is a requirement for God’s Glory. The struggle is knitted into the very fabric of our humanity.


Ephesians 6:13
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

We must not lead our lives believing that
1. God’s will for our life and church is the path of least resistance
2. God’s will for our life or church is the path of greatest comfort, peace or reward – as man defines peace, comfort and reward


Bringing Lazarus back to life brought Glory to the Father and peace and comfort to Mary and Martha! But Lazarus had to die for that to happen.

What kind of Glory?
1. This was a foreshadowing of His soon resurrection and victory over death for us all
2. This was a real life demonstration of his power over the grave.
3. This helped motivate his followers to a life of sold out commitment

This was about so much more than giving Mary and Martha a feel good moment. This was about everything and the lives of everyone following the resurrection. Bringing Lazarus back to life demostrated without confusion or misunderstanding that Jesus is Lord of all.
• His power is greater than Death
• His power is greater than the Grave.
• His power is greater than sin.
• His power is greater than our preferences.
• His power is greter than our superstitions.
• His power is geater than our past.



2. Jesus wept because His followers still didn’t get it.

The fully God part of Jesus most surely had the power to keep this from happening.His followers had seen it time and again.  They got it in their heads. But not in their core. They saw the snapshots. But did not see their place in the video.

John 11:21
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
She mentally knew that wasn’t true. She had knowledge of Jesus healing from afar. She had a snapshot in her past, but it didn’t connect with her present.

John 11:33
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.




3. The next big event in the story of Jesus… is Jerusalem.

He is standing here at the grave with full knowledge of what Lazarus had to go through. He is standing her amongst those closest to Him that have not yet gotten it. And in his mind, the cross is looming!

Lazarus had move from earth to eternity, and then back again. Whichever way you think he went, one of those was a bad trip.  Jesus’ closest followers had not yet gotten it.  And the cross was right around the corner.



This is how you choose:

You repent – you decide that the life your living is no longer the life you want to live. Not in terms of family or vocation, but in terms of the consequences in your life due your sin and sin nature. Repentence is choosing to turn from that life to the life Christ has for you.

You place your faith in Christ – you decide that for you, Christ alone can forgive your sin and sin nature. You decide that He alone is the way to a life free from the consequences of your sin and a life lived forever in heaven. And, since it’s by faith, it means that you don’t have to know tomorrow. Your Faith is that Christ knows your tomorrow – struggle or not.

And in the repenting and faith, you decide that He is Lord. He’s the boss. He’s in charge, whether you like it or not. Salvation has never been about Jesus being the one to solve your struggles in the way you prefer.

If you have never repented, and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can do so today. I strongly urge you to consider your life as it is and how it will eternally be. Choose Christ.


Connection Card

  1. I will choose to be trained, and to serve where God is moving, whether I like it or not.

  2. I will live in His video instead of my snapshots for His sake and for the next generation.

  3. I commit to work through struggles with His wisdom, His correction, and His instruction.


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