Why did Jesus Weep?

Two places in the Scriptures where Jesus wept; one was at Lazarus’ tomb and the other was over Jerusalem.

Now, the question is, why did Jesus weep? Why would the Saviour cry? Let’s look into to the Bible and find out the answers to these questions.

1. The death of Lazarus

Let’s look at the shortest verse in Scripture which can be found in John 11:35

The whole story is about Lazarus dying. Jesus knew that Lazarus was sick but He did not go to heal him from his sickness. He stayed where He was for an extra 2 days after hearing that Lazarus was sick. Then He went to Bethany, but He already knew that Lazarus was dead.

Now, on his way to Bethany, He was met by one of Lazarus’ sisters, Martha, and He started to reveal to her that He was the resurrection and+ the life. After saying this, He asked her, “Do you believe this?” and her answer was, “Yes”.

Now when Jesus saw Mary and all the Jews round about crying over the death of Lazarus (John 11:33), He asked, “Where have you laid him?” and then He wept.

Many Saints believe that Jesus wept because of the death of Lazarus, this is totally incorrect because Jesus already knew that he was dead John 11:14. The reason why Jesus wept was because of their lack of faith, even though they knew he was a Miracle worker (John 11:37).  Jesus was weeping because of their unbelief.

You will see that Jesus groaned in John chapter 11:33 and v38. That word groaned in Greek basically means He felt pressed in the Spirit.

Jesus wept

2. Jesus Weeping over Jerusalem

Another place in Scripture where we see Jesus Christ weeping, is over Jerusalem.  The question we need to ask ourselves is, why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem?

If we read the book of Luke 19:28 it speaks about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This is a fulfilment of Zechariah 9:9:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Everyone in Jerusalem accepted and announced Jesus as King.  Even though they accepted Jesus as King ,they still did not accept Him or believe that He was the Messiah. Most of the people were caught up in all the fanfare of Jesus entering the city.

Luke 19:42- 43

Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

Now this is where it gets really interesting because in Luke 19:41 it talks about how Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

To get a better understanding of why Jesus wept over the city, we have to understand a little bit about Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy.

I won’t bore you with all the details here, I promise to keep it light and basic.

In Daniel 9:20-27  the angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and gave him a prophecy of what God would be doing with Israel.  The angel Gabriel told Daniel that in the 69th week, the Messiah shall be cut off or put to death.

In Daniel chapter 9:25 the angel Gabriel told Daniel when this prophecy would begin to countdown.  The countdown started from when Cyrus the Great ordered the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the book of Ezra chapter 1:1-3.

So basically, from King Cyrus ordering the rebuilding of Jerusalem to when the Messiah walked into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, was 69 weeks or 490 years.  So Jesus walked into Jerusalem on the very day which the angel revealed to Daniel.

Like I said, I’m going to keep it basic, so if you want to know more about this subject there are many YouTube videos that break down the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel.

The reason why Jesus wept is because they did not know that He was the Messiah, they did not understand Daniel’s prophecy.  God was very precise by giving his people Israel the very day that He would enter into Jerusalem.  We all know what happened, they crucified Him!


So what we can conclude from this short article is that Jesus wept because of unbelief and ignorance.  We can see throughout the Scriptures that this was one of the main obstacles that humans had when it came to his ministry.

To be able to receive the fullness of Christ we must overcome unbelief, ignorance and build our faith.

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