I was sharing the story of Lazarus with someone a few years ago. I was at the part where Jesus delayed His visit to His dying friend, when the person, who wasn’t familiar with the story, was quick to interrupt me. “Why would Jesus let Lazarus’ family suffer like that?” they asked angrily. To be honest, I had never thought of it that way. So before I could even get to Jesus’ motive, I remembered something just as important. “Jesus was just as grieved as they were and He wept,” I answered. He wanted to give His friend more than a healing from his illness, so Jesus showed up when all hope seemed gone and gave him a resurrection instead. And it was this act that propelled so many to believe in Him. Now I didn’t mention that the person I was having this conversation with was going through a tough time themselves, as both of their grandmothers were diagnosed with cancer. So you can imagine the comfort they received from knowing that Jesus sympathized with their pain.
“Jesus wept” is the shortest verse in the Bible, but also one of the most profound and comforting verses I know (John 11:35). I’m reminded of a similar verse where God is also said to have been distressed by His people’s misfortunes, “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them” (Isaiah 63:9). Contrary to popular belief, God is not immune to our suffering. He sees, feels and acts. Oftentimes the answer He provides may not make sense to us, but He knows what He is doing and will act in His own time. We must simply trust His good heart. Because the God who weeps is the God who cares.