INTERACTIVE BIBLE COMMENTARY - PROPHECY NEWS WATCH - CHRISTIAN SOCIAL NETWORK
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
Who amongst us here has been so hurt that they have not wept?
As humans it’s a natural reflex to cry and God created us with three different types of tears.
1. Basic or fundamental tears keep our eyes constantly lubricated.
2. Reflex tears are produced when our eyes get irritated, like with onions or when something irritating gets into our eyes.
3. The third kind of tear is produced when the body reacts emotionally to something, most often a child or husband.
Each type of tear contains different amounts of chemical proteins and hormones. Scientists have discovered that emotional tears contain higher levels of manganese and the hormone prolactin. Tears release these excess amounts of chemicals and hormones from our body, returning us to a stable state which helps to keep depression away that can come in times of great emotional stress.
As we examine our own personal reasons for shedding tears, we may very well ask, why would Jesus who was, in the beginning the Word, was with God, and was God, (John 1:1) would weep?
There are many reasons that those who care for us actually encourage us to let go, let it all out, cry. The first would be upon the death of a loved one, the loss of a close friend or life partner. A natural part of grieving includes crying and is believed that if one does not release built up emotions through tears, that they could suffer physically through built up emotional stress, often leading to doctors and medication.
Most commentaries comment on John 11:35 is like the one found in the ESV Study Bible. “Jesus wept. Jesus joins his friends’ sadness with heartfelt sorrow, yet underlying it is the knowledge that resurrection and joy will soon follow. Jesus’ example shows that heartfelt mourning in the face of death does not indicate lack of faith but honest sorrow at the reality of suffering and death”.
(John 11:1-15 ESV)
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, (as is recorded in the next chapter), whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (The resurrection of Lazarus anticipates Jesus’ own resurrection and reveals Jesus as “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). The raising of Lazarus also serves as the final event that triggered the Jewish leaders’ resolve to have Jesus arrested and tried for blasphemy)
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Jesus was surrounded most of the time with His Disciples, followers, Mary Magdalene and Mary His mother. Verse 3 tells us that “it is he who you love that is ill”. In verse 11 Jesus calls Lazarus His Friend.
Throughout the Gospels Jesus was called
In parables He used the word friend,
‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Matthew 20:13.
‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ Matthew 22:12
But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. Luke 14:10
The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. John 3:29
“Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, Luke 11:5
Though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. Luke 11:8
In general acknowledgment,
- Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend.” John 19:12
All these terms of friendship are in the generic general form. Only in John 11:11 is Lazarus referred to as personal friend of Jesus and the Disciples.
What is the Biblical meaning of Friend?
Today the meaning of friend is hitting the like button on Face Book, or shaking someone’s hand in church without ever taking the time out of your busy schedule to get to know them as a person with frustrations, insecurities, failures, hurts and disappointments. When you do not get to know someone as a true friend, you never know the great benefits they could bring to your own life. So often we call out to God for help, encouragement and strength as we go through life’s daily trials when God placed us in a church surrounded by fellow believers whom should be our friend and confidant.
Today’s definition of friend is certainly not what is meant when Jesus called Lazarus a friend or when Abraham was called a friend of God.
When God declared His friendship with Abram, they entered a friendship covenant. Through this covenant ritual, God and Abram changed names. God, who is called YHWH in Hebrew, took the “H” out of His own name and put it in Abram’s name. So Abram became Abraham, likewise, Sara his wife became Sarah. In this exchange, God took Abraham’s name and became known as the God of Abraham.
The definition of covenant is a binding agreement between two parties. As we know from history, people most often prove to be untrue to their word. Accordingly their covenants are just not trustworthy. Covenants are made such as the marriage covenant and then broken based on personal benefit.
Abraham entered into a covenant with YHWH, God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. This covenant is described to us in Genesis 15:17-21 ESV.
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
A covenant’ in the Old Testament was sealed by a process called “cutting”. This is how the covenant was “cut”.
God told Abraham to prepare a covenant agreement with Him. Abram cut in half a heifer, a goat and a ram, and also offered a dove and a pigeon. He arranged the pieces, but did not burn them, following the common ritual of Abraham’s day; he laid them on the ground opposite each other. The two parties, in this case, God and Abraham, would then walk around the two halves, through the blood of each animal in a figure eight. In the ritual they would pledge themselves to each other to the extent of all they had, even to their very lives. In the covenant made between them, they would name all the blessings and benefits. Then they would name the curses to be exacted should the covenant be violated.
God’s promise to Abraham is an eternal covenant, but God required an obvious seal of this covenant – the circumcision (Genesis 17:1-14).
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
This circumcision is an act done in faith. It is a “bloody” ritual too. Every male descendant of Abraham was required to bear this covenant mark. In verse 13 God is repeating HIS promise confirming the eternal character of this covenant, but the following verse gives us the clear consequences if this covenant should ever be broken. It is the death of the perpetrator.
In understanding the Old Testament Covenant, we can better understand the New Covenant through Christ our Lord. Jesus Christ through His crucifixion has made a new blood covenant with us. Abram and Sara toke on the H from YHWH, we to can share Christ’s name when we call ourselves Christians. Through Grace we are not required to walk through the two halves of an animal, only to accept and give our whole self unto Christ as He did for us on the cross. We are not required today to circumcise ourselves, as under the old covenant; we remember the new covenant with Christ today as we take Holy Communion.
And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. (Mark 14:24 ESV)
A biblical blood covenant is more than just being friends. It is the commitment of our life unto another, Jesus Christ. Many today state, once saved, always saved. This form of salvation is based more upon emotion rather than a true repentant commitment. The sacred blood covenant between Christ and us is one of total commitment upon both parties.
When we enter into this covenant with Christ, yes we are imminently saved, taking on Christ’s name. However, as the covenant between God and Abraham was dependent upon his faithfulness, so it still holds true under the new. When we take on Christ’s name as a Christian, our spirit is saved by putting on Christ’s righteousness, our soul (emotions, mind) is constantly being saved and our body will be saved upon Christ’s return.
And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. (James 2:23 ESV)
Jesus does not want to be just our Messiah; He wants to be our friend, just as He was to Lazarus. Jesus did not weep for His friend had died; He knew that he only slept. Jesus being a true friend felt the hurt that Mary and her sister Martha felt. It was through feeling their emotional pain that He wept.
All of us will have trials in our lives that will draw us closer to a right relationship with God. We cannot let life’s circumstances determine our love and obedience toward our savour and friend. Many times afflictions are just what we need to purify our lives of ungodliness. It is only through our trials that our faith is proved and even strengthened. No one wants suffering in their lives, but when it comes we can pray that the Lord will open our eyes to whatever truth He has for us.
Jesus wants to be known as our friend. A friend that hurts when we hurt, feels what we feel, cries when we cry. As a true blood covenant friend, Christ truly knows what we are going through as we face our daily trials. As Christ put on our sin at the cross, through grace we can put on His righteousness. As He feels our emotional ups and downs through this life. One day soon when He returns for His own, we will feel His glory.
I am reminded of the song by Joseph Scriven,
What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit;
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble any where?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In his arms he’ll take and shield you;
You will find a solace there.
We all have our moments when we feel alone, when we hurt so bad that tears seem to be our only sense of relief. When we are weak and heavy laden or burdened with a load of care, we must remember at moments of despair, that Christ truly feels our pain. Jesus when He walked on the earth was both fully divine as well as fully human; He knows what we feel for He to felt sorrow and pain. Who then better to share our tears with than the one who truly feels our pain?
With a friend we can talk of our joys and sorrows. Prayer is talking openly, from the heart with our ultimate friend. Can we find a more faithful friend outside of Jesus? A friend who truly knows who we are inside. A friend that feels both our joy and pain. Through Christ we can rejoice as we feel His presence, His guiding hand, His forgiveness, His friendship.
Jesus wept for He feels our pain and sorrow.
Anger must not block our confidence in God’s ability
The works of the flesh are stumbling blocks in encountering that which the Lord would so impart on our behalf
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissentions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live bythe Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other
May the truths of God’s word maintain you transforming your mind. Romans 12:2
God’s protection is available as we so respond
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise You forever, because You have done it and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.
As a tree rooted and grounded in Christ whereby everything we do prospers and the fruit of His presence ‘tis evident.
Would we fully trust in God’s mercy and love on our behalf
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so tha it will be even more fruitful
See to it that no one takes you captive
God has made you alive with Christ, He has forgiven all your sins
ARE WE HUMBLE, WILLING TO TURN AND SEEK THE LORD OF GLORY THEREBY TURNING FROM THE CARNAL ASPECTS OF SELF THAT WOULD THWORT HIS PERFECT WILL AND PURPOSE IN OUR LIFE
O Lord may we be planted in You whereby the waters of life would so flood our heart and soul with the fruit of the Holy Spirit being manifest
WHAT DO WE ULTIMATELY DELIGHT IN?
Study by Charlotte…September 2011
Check out today's ACTIVE TOPICS
We welcome all avenues of prophecy interpretation to post articles, comment and ask questions.
Please help us grow by forwarding Prophecy Times on to your e-buddies.