“And some of them said, ‘Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?’ Jesus, therefore, again groaning in Himself came to the grave. . .”
Doubts and devilish lies so often cause us to grieve His Holy Heart (Eph. 4:30).
Never has there been a shorter and more powerful statement than the one found in Jn. 11:35: “Jesus wept.” Think of it: The One Who created all that is. . .and even now “upholds all things by the Word of His Power” (Heb. 1:3b). . .wept and twice “groaned within Himself” (vv.33, 38).
And, they thought it was because He was grieving over Lazarus’ death (v.36).
Yet, some of them saw it as evidence of His weakness. Or, maybe His lack of love.
“If that’d been my friend who was deathly ill and someone had sent word to me that he was close to death, I would have quickly come,” one quietly muttered.
“Yea, if He was really as powerful as He says He is, He could have prevented this from happening. He did it for others, but He didn’t (or is that couldn’t) do that for poor, ‘ole Lazarus. No wonder Martha and Mary are so brokenhearted and disappointed,” said another.
Yes, that’s why Jesus wept.
Because of their unbelief—not Lazarus’ death.
And, He groaned because of their callused, critical remarks. The Greek word “embrimaomai” is used here for “groaned” and basically means “to snort with anger, have indignation toward, sigh with chagrin, etc.” It was an inward groaning of exasperation, if you will. And, we all know that feeling when others misunderstand our motives and actions or malign our character through malicious, unfounded accusations.
But, they just didn’t understand.
They just didn’t know Who He was/is.
And, most likely, He immediately forgave them even as He would do later when He was unjustly tried, convicted, abandoned and cruelly nailed to the Cross (Lk. 23:34).
Oh how great His patience toward us! Oh how great “His Mercies which keep us from being consumed by His wrath” (Lam. 3:21-23; Rom. 5:6-11)! That’s why we should “give thanks in all things” (I Thess. 5:18a)—for “His compassions fail not; they’re new every morning—so great is His Faithfulness” (Lam. 3:21-23). Hallelujah!!
Even now the Holy Spirit is “praying for us with groaning (Grk. ‘stenagmos’—‘sighs, cry of grief, moaning, etc.’) that cannot be put into words” (Rom. 8:26). Our omniscient Lord knows our frailties of flesh and feebleness of faith; yet, He still loves us just the same. No wonder it’s called “Amazing Grace!” Glory!! May the Holy Spirit help us this day to “cast down imaginations/speculations/suspicions and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God as we bring every thought to the obedience of Christ—i.e., under His Lordship” (II Cor. 10:5). That way we won’t grieve Him by our thoughtless (and faithless) words and deeds. . .and our accusations or insinuations against Him.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 20, 2010