Jesus Wept

What the shortest verse in the Bible, and the only A+ I got for memory verses in Sunday School, tells us about our Saviour.

John 11 tells the amazing story of Jesus’ close friend Lazarus.

Lazarus lived in Bethany with his sisters Mary and Martha. Martha was a good cook; she loved the kitchen and Lazarus was a single guy. The meals were fantastic. So, he stayed. But Lazarus got very sick. We don’t know why. I doubt it was the cooking, but Mary and Martha sent an urgent message to Jesus.

“Come. Help.”

Jesus’ disciples warned Him; “Don’t go. Remember? The people just tried to stone you, but you slipped through their fingers again. How do you do that?”

Finally, Jesus said, “Let’s go. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing.

When they arrived, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. He was very dead. Though being dead is a bit like being pregnant, either you are or you aren’t. Martha met Jesus and she was weeping. “If you’d been here Master, Lazarus wouldn’t have died.

Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.” “I know,” said Martha, “at the end of time.” But Jesus took her by surprise. “I am the resurrection and the life,” He said. “Anyone who believes in Me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Then those two words: “Jesus wept.”

This was my favorite memory verse as a child. “Jesus wept.” It was the only A+ I ever received in Sunday School. Through the years it has come to mean so much more.

Are you struggling today?


We have a God who weeps. Who cares. Who is with us. A God who entered our world to redeem it, to bring beautiful things out of broken things, to bring us life through His death.

Jesus stood that day before a cave on a hillside. A slab of stone was laid against it. He says, “Remove the stone.” Martha says, “Master, Hooee! He’s been dead four days!” The King James says, “he stinketh.” Jesus shouts, “Lazarus, come out!” It’s a good thing He specified “Lazarus” because every corpse on the hillside might have risen. “Lazarus come out!” And what else could Lazarus do when the voice that spoke the stars into space and the world into existence, the voice that calmed the sea, the voice that called you and me, called his name?

Back when Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ was in theatres a friend was talking with someone who said, “You’ve gotta see it. But I won’t give away the ending. You won’t believe what happens.” Whatever you’re facing today, remember, we have a God who weeps. He is with you. He has defeated death. He is risen!

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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