Bible:John 11:35

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Jesus wept.

John 11:35


This is the shortest verse in the Bible. Jesus' friend Lazarus had just died and Jesus had arrived at the tomb.

The Greek verb used is εδακρυσεν (edakrusen) which signifies the deep sorrow in spirit and silent shedding of tears. The word occurs only once in the New Testament.


The phrase occurs in John's narrative of the death of Lazarus, a friend of Jesus. Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus of their brother's illness. Jesus arrived four days after Lazarus' death. Jesus, after talking to the grieving sisters and seeing Lazarus' friends weeping, was deeply troubled. After being shown where Lazarus was laid, Jesus wept in front of Lazarus' tomb. He then ordered the people to remove the stone covering the tomb, prayed aloud to God (for the benefit of the people), and ordered Lazarus to come out.


Significance has been attributed to this phrase for a number of reasons.

Weeping demonstrates that the Christ was indeed true man, with real bodily functions (such as tears, sweat, blood, eating and drinking. His emotions and reactions were real; the Christ was not an illusion or spirit. Pope Leo I referred to this passage when he discussed the two natures of Jesus: "In his humanity Jesus wept for Lazarus; in his divinity he raised him from the dead."

Some interpret his weeping to mean that Jesus was sorrowful for the fact that Lazarus had died (which was the interpretation of the bystanders in verse 36). A common view is that that Jesus wept because he understood and knew the pain and suffering that death brings. An alternate explanation considers that Jesus wept in anger because every person whom Jesus talked to (his disciples, Martha, Mary, and the Jews) was blinded by their misconceptions of Jesus and by their failure to recognize that, as he declared in verse 26, he was "the resurrection and the life".

                All Versions
Version Text
Hebrew ויבך ישוע׃
Greek εδακρυσεν ο ιησους
Latin Et lacrimatus est Jesus.
KJV Jesus wept.
WEB Jesus wept.


Pope Leo I

In his humanity Jesus wept for Lazarus; in his divinity he raised him from the dead.


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