I have a question about John 11:35, "Jesus wept." Today in a Bible discussion with a non-Christian, a discussion leader shared this scripture and said that Jesus wept because of Mary's lack of faith in his ability to raise Lazarus from the dead. But I have always understood the scripture to show Jesus love for people (in this case Lazarus). Which, if ether, is the correct understanding? Also, do you think this would be a doctrinal issue to be addressed with my Bible group discussion leader? -- Astrid Houchin

Whether you bring it up or not is up to you. I would do all I could first to study and make sure my position is correct. Then if you still feel the need to talk, go ahead.

Jesus may have wept for the same reasons we would have wept: the loss of his friend. Even though he knew he would return from the dead--just as we know we will see departed Christians one day--there is still an acute sense of loss. Acts 8:2!

On the other hand, even though he knew Lazarus would soon return from death, Jesus hurt for Mary and Martha. Feeling their grief was overpowering for him, triggering the weeping. 

Many scholars see another emotion in this chapter: anger. "Deeply moved" in the Greek may suggest this other emotion. New Testament scholars are not agreed on this second possibility, but this also seems likely. Jesus had just affirmed that he is the resurrection and the life (v.25). Yet no one believed him! The crowd did not recognize this truth, and even Mary and Martha don't seem to have grasped it.

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