John: Day 15

When Jesus Wept


Today's Text: John 11:1-57, Daniel 12:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Text: John 11:1-57, Daniel 12:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

John’s Gospel invites readers to “come and see”—not just to hear Christ’s words, but to engage with Him, to “come and see” who Christ is. This was the way of Christ Himself. When His followers had questions, when they were troubled about the world, Christ invited them to come and see the answer: Him.

What is the answer to sin, death and darkness? Christ. Won’t you come and see?

The phrase “come and see” appears four times in the Gospel of John, and the pattern that appears is this: when we see Christ and what He has to offer, we see life, but when we see what man offers, we see death.

Come and you’ll see,” He replied. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they stayed with Him that day. It was about 10 in the morning (John 1:39).

“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him. “Come and see,” Philip answered (John 1:46).

Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29).

In all three instances above, we are invited to “come and see” Christ as the Messiah, to see what He is doing. In contrast, when we focus on what we see in the world, all we’ll find is death and darkness.

In John 11:34, Jesus asks after his friend Lazarus, saying, “Where have you put him?” “Lord,” they tell Him, “come and see.” But this “come and see” doesn’t point to Christ; instead it points to death.

Death is all this world has to offer. The only solution to sin and darkness is Christ Jesus. When Christ bids us “come and see,” He shows us life. When the world bids us “come and see,” we find a man laid in a tomb. We find death.

The next verse, verse 35, tells us that “Jesus wept” for his friend Lazarus. Death has struck a blow, and Jesus weeps to see sin and its consequences in a fallen world. But His tears are not an indication of defeat. Instead, there at Lazarus’s tomb, Christ wages war on death, arresting the powers of death and decay, and reversing them.

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”
- John 11:25-26

The raising of Lazarus from the dead is a foreshadowing of Christ’s work on the cross, which will come just a short time later (John 19-21). Defeating death once and for all, Jesus Himself is raised from the dead. This time, it is Mary Magdalene who weeps, while looking for the body of her Lord. Jesus asks what she is seeking, then simply calls her by name: “Mary” (John 20:16). He’s calling us too (Isaiah 43:1).

We have seen who Christ is. The light has come. “Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4). The invitation is no longer just to “come and see,” but to follow Him, to walk with Him (John 8:12). Now that we have seen the light, we are called to abide in it and bear witness to its power and goodness.

Behold Christ, the light of life. Love Him. Walk with Him.


  • I’m just going back and doing this study now and what a blessing it has been! This devotion was so beautifully written and pieced together. This brought a whole new, deeper, meaning to this passage for me. Thank you, Rebecca! YOU are a blessing!

  • Love him, walk with him and be like him. I love that we get to see the person of Jesus in his love for his friends and his hurting heart. May I have the faith and courage to be like him, to look like him, sound like him, smell like him, feel like him and to love like he loved.

  • Danya Ho

    Behold Christ, the light of life. Love Him. Walk with Him.

  • April Heather

    Jesus wept. The title really got me. What could make Jesus cry? Whenever I’ve read this I’ve felt Jesus’ empathy at his friend’s pain and sadness. His humanity AND his divinity. That when I hurt, he hurts too-for me, with me, beside me.

  • Holy COW! I don’t know if I have ever really read and focused on John 11:50-53 before! The high priest, not of his own will, prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation and to gather into one the Children of God from abroad! So they set to kill him. Wow!

  • While Mary and Martha grieved the death of Lazarus, they ultimately waited on the Lord. When other people expected them to take their grief to the tomb of their deceased brother, Mary was actually running to Jesus, where she laid her pain plainly at His feet. They had faith all along that Jesus was who He said He was–and that He could heal Lazarus. And they knew that Jesus opted to instead leave Bethany for Jerusalem. They could have clung to feelings of disappointment or abandonment or resentment at Jesus’ apparent failure to heal Lazarus. Instead, they ran to Him–with their faith in tow. Jesus was so moved that He wept.

  • Goosebumps

  • Michelle

    “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
    1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
    I’m behind on this study but this is exactly what I needed today. I work abroad in an orphanage and yesterday we lost a 4 year old boy that I was close to. But this is not the end. I am not uninformed and I have a hope that many of this little boys caretakers do not have.

    • Zoe

      I will be praying for you as you cope with your loss, clinging steadfastly to the Lord.

  • Heather Fringer

    Jesus remained silent through Lazarus’s death and showed up when he was in the tomb for 4 days already. Many thought that he was too late to do any good, but we have to remember that God always has perfect timing. Even when we may call out to him in the hard times and he does not answer. I just watched Gods Not Dead 2 for the first time last night and this point was in there a lot. The main character Grace said that she had been praying and struggling but God had felt more distant than ever. Her grandfather kindly reminded her that the teacher always stays silent during the tests. I thought that was a great way to think about it to remember that He is NOT ignoring me!! He does hear me and He does love me.

  • Awesome post as usual. However, I have a question if anyone can answer that would be great. I’ve run into several people who will say “Jesus wept.” at the dining table and use this as a “grace” saying. I’m asking what it means to say grace in this manner. How does it relate to thanking God for our food? Thanks to anyone who can provide a little clarity for me on this question. Thanks!

  • I am a few days behind so I don’t know if anyone will see this but I have been struggling with this question for a while and feel really stuck.
    It is hard for me to “come and see” all the good and grace Jesus has to offer when, by doing that, I am acknowledging the death and destruction that currently awaits my entire family and beloved friends. Christ has shown me life but I feel overcome when that also means other people do not have that yet. I am a highly sensitive person and feel emotions so deeply. In the midst of this constant struggle it can be even harder for me to lean on God because I know His Word is truth but that also means accepting that not everyone will wake up from their slumber to be with Christ. I do my best to witness, everyone is aware of my faith and what I believe but nothing seems to make a difference and I often get overcome with anxiety that I have to save them and I am not doing enough. I pray fervently for them, as I know only Jesus can change hearts but what if it is not in His plan to change theirs? How can I reconcile that with the God I love so much??

    • Ginger


      That’s because Jesus saves. Don’t get discouraged! Your job is to witness in His glorious name! So, you do that, and watch Him work in people. Don’t stress out because when you’re witnessing, people aren’t changing…and you’re correct in saying that only Jesus can change hearts, as well as minds, perspectives of people, etc…and everything else. Try not to lose your focus on Jesus and the people you’re ministering to…you’ll come out fine as long as you focus on Jesus and what He wants you to do for His Glory, for your good, and for the good of everyone you minister to! Go in peace, Sarah. I will pray for you, also.

    • Beth

      Hi Sarah–not sure if you’ll see this as I’m a few days behind, too. But I relate to what you’re saying and have been teasing this around in my head for some time now. When I focus on my walk with Jesus and real connection with people God has put in my life, I find I come to more clarity and peace than when I focus on what I think the implications of what I see here on earth are for eternity. The reality is, none of us have any business being so definitive about that. We can absolutely have confidence in who we are in Christ and what He has promised, but I don’t think that translates to needing to have confidence about what God intends for anyone else. No matter what you see on the outside, ultimately God judges the heart, so we get to leave that to Him. Continue to love. Continue to feel deeply. Continue to share and grow and listen and all of that. And let God be God.

    • Lisa

      I see what you are saying and when I think about close family members enduring that death and destruction, I feel hopeless, very sad and very confused on how to accept it even with Joy in my own heart. I don’t know the answer. I will pray that you will have an unexplainable peace at how to deal with those feelings. What God asks of us is to trust Him, so I will keep that at the forefront of my thoughts, but I feel your struggle. It’s mine too.

    • Rose

      You may have planted seeds in those around you that you may not see blossom for months or years. Don’t loose hope that God can intervene in their lives. Keep praying. keep planting seeds.

  • Keri McCue

    I love the Gospel Implications of this passage. I love the foreshadowing of what Christ would later do on the cross. I have always found it interesting that in this passage Jesus weeps for His friend even knowing that He will raise Lazarus up not too long after his death.

  • This passage and reflection relates so well to the previous chapter. As sheep, we hear many voices calling out to us. Unlike the good Shepherd, the other hands are thieves and robbers. They seduce us with glittery promises of *more* but they actually come to steal, kill and destroy. The world calls us every day, but its only guarantee is to deliver death.

    Oh Lord deafen me ears to the other voices that call me. Would I be one of your sheep that ONLY hears and follows your voice. Give me eyes of understanding to see the paths that lead to death.

  • I have always thought when I read this scripture -when Jesus heard his friend was sick he stayed away longer! What?! Because He loved Lazarus I’m sure that He was aware that his staying away caused his friends agony and it hurt him. BUT He knew the whole story, the why of his actions. How many times do things happen in our lives that seem hurtful or don’t make sense and we wonder why God has not done something or answered our cries?! Here in this scripture lies our answers-He is SO MUCH BIGGER than our problems and His ways lots of times make no sense to us. But He weeps for us, He plans all to work out for our good. He is saying “Trust in me! I have this under control even if you can’t see it yet!” And I try to remember and say ” Yes Lord!”

    • Taylor

      Thanks for pointing that out candy, that Jesus waited, and most of the time I wonder where Jesus is too. But He knows the plan and His power. I need to trust him.

    • Gema Muniz

      Amen! Thank you for sharing this sister. God bless!

  • Diane Huntsman

    What is it we want to “come and see” for we are invited daily by Jesus and yet we often choose to go and see the things that are temporary.. my phone shows me other lives and what I might be missing.. it leaves me discontent and lonely.. Jesus wants me to meet Him to “see” all He has done and will yet to do.. but is it enough for me? Or do I crave the insignificant things of this world instead.. oh that I would choose to go and see what He wants me to see and set aside those temporal nothings that hold my heart and my attentions.. Lord Jesus set my heart and sights on You and may the world around me grow strangely dim in the light of Your glory and grace..

  • Caroline

    So thankful that Jesus offers light + life. Through him we can escape the darkness the world offers! Praise God. LOVE —> “The only solution to sin and darkness is Christ Jesus”

  • Sarah D.

    Reminds me of this awesome song from Passion 2017: Out of that Grave
    Thank u Lord that all our testimonies show of ur bringing us from DEATH to LIFE! Help us walk in your Life forever.

  • What a great message to start the week with. Despite hearing a great sermon yesterday to not let our Goliath rule our life and instead let God conquer them, I still felt consumed in darkness all evening. What another great reminder to seek Christ and see the light. I always notice when I am unintentionally seeking something other than God and I am never left with the sense of peace and comfort. See Him, know Him, and let Him defeat the giants; all things I need to remember. Great message today!

  • When I look at the world I find myself wanting more, not content… I pray I stay focused on Jesus and there I will find life. Amen!

  • Logan Christine

    The world’s “come and see” could not be anymore true for today. Every time we open our phones to any sort of social media to “come and see” the world, we see destruction, violence, and death. Thankfully we can also “come and see” Christ and what He brings to the world and to our lives. That is the “come and see” I want to rejoice in everyday.

  • I decided to read all the comments today in addition to the scripture and Rebecca’s commentary. Sometimes I don’t have the time to do that, however today I felt prompted. Wow! All of your insights help me take His word so much further – thank you. And for those who are in a tough season let His light penetrate every area of hurt.

    Thank you ladies!

  • It always moves me to see again Jesus’ humanity when he grieves with Mary and Martha.

  • One thing that will continue to amaze me as I read through the Bible is all of the foreshadowing. There has to be full knowledge of what is going to happen throughout Jesus’ story for this to happen. Each time Jesus foreshadows an event, such as Lazarus’ death then being brought back to life is the same thing Jesus offers us once he died on the cross, I am reminded of how in control God is. He is all knowing. Things like this make is so hard NOT to believe. Thank you God for leaving little breadcrumbs throughout scripture for us to follow.

  • I can’t help but think of the other folks that died in the four days that Lazarus lay entombed. Jesus wept because of sin and its consequences and I believe that Jesus still weeps because of it but the thing that I can’t shy away from is that Jesus called the one who knew Him, while the others still lay “sleeping”. Lazarus’ walk out of the cave is the image of our walk from this world and into the next. Will we hear our Savior calling our name or as Daniel 12:2 reminds us, will we be doomed to shame and everlasting contempt? The joy and shock and awe those witnessing this must have felt goes beyond my comprehension, really. Lazarus himself must have been overcome with emotion and gratitude. The other thing that sticks with me is that there was a sort of “mark” on Lazarus for this. So many were turning to Christ after this that the chief priests were plotting to kill Lazarus over it. Not that we have folks plotting over our lives, but knowing and walking with Christ, certainly shrinks your circle of friends. Folks who were once a part of our lives, may no longer wish to be. And so walking in Truth and choosing righteousness is never easy but we must keep our eyes on Christ because He is the one that has called us, He is the one that *will* call us and eternal life with Him is the greatest reward. Thankful that Christ called me out of my tomb of shame and sin. That He dusted me off, cleaned me up and set me on a path *with* Him. So incredibly thankful that I can look forward to hearing Him call me out of physical death and into eternal life.

    • Kelsie

      Amen! We can’t comprehend now how Lazarus felt, but one day we will be in his same position. Continue to walk in Truth so you will hear Jesus calling your name as you walk into everlasting life with him.

    • Tatiana Phillips

      Love this, I’m returning to Christ after being “away”, at first thinking ,who will be the first of my friends, peers, coworkers, to leave my side because of it. But the love of the Lord, helps me not to feel this way, it’s incredible how much weight has been lofted, just by saying, ” I’m all yours Lord, I put you in front of everything in my life”

  • Emmi,

    I usually don’t comment either. Someone very close to me has severe depression. It is a disease that breeds in human flesh. Jesus is the Light, the Living Water and the Life. Don’t give up! Each day is a day to declare your allegiance to Christ. I just prayed for comfort for you!

    • Emmi

      Thank you, kind-hearted stranger named Steph :) I’m praying for your close-to-you person as well.

  • Sarah_Joy

    Whenever I read the story of Lazarus, I remember this song from way back. To some it may be a little cheesy, but the story song always moves me.

  • Stephenie

    I love the thought about Jesus’ tears for Lazarus. They were tears of sorrow for the destruction that sin does in our world, but they were not tears of defeat. Jesus, help me be confident, no matter what I face, that the victory is yours!

  • A question for you…I would like to share the He Reads Truth app with my husband so we can study the same passages together, but I can’t fine the app in the App Store. Is it only available online, or is there an app for the men?

    • candacejo

      Hi, I checked the app store and found the He Reads Truth app there. It’s free. I searched for He Reads Truth and it came right up. You could also search for She Reads Truth and the men’s app is a couple under that as well. I know that doesn’t help much but just wanted to confirm there is one and it is in the app store ♥

      • Becky

        Thanks! I see that my settings showed “iPad only” which was probably the problem. I found it! Thanks Candacejo.

    • Madeline

      There is a He Reads Truth app for iOS but not for android.

  • One thing that stood out to me today was Jesus’ timing. In John 11:5-6 it says, “5 Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” He loved them SO He waited! Jesus knew that they needed to see a greater miracle than just healing Lazarus from sickness. He knew that resurrection from the dead was what their hearts needed. God knows what we want and what we need and although sometimes it’s hard to trust His timing, it’s in the waiting that our faith is growing so that we are able to see His glory revealed. We love Him, SO we wait on Him and His perfect timing.

    • Kristine L

      I was struck by the same thing Emily. Jesus intentionally staying away seems so…mean! But you made a great point. He knew his friends needed to see the bigger miracle. If we could see the bigger picture of our lives, I think we would be amazed at our timelines and how perfectly God is orchestrating events.

    • DebbieinAZ

      I love the way you put this. What we think love should feel or look like, is not always what God thinks or what is best for us. Lord give me a patient heart… I’m trusting in your timing… in your perfect love.

      Have a blessed week SRT sis’s

    • Christine Marie

      Beautifully put Emily and what a great reminder that God really does know best.

    • Veronica

      This perspective is so, so good! Another example of his ways being so higher then ours- we don’t understand the waiting but it is because of his vast love.

    • Carly

      I can’t help but see a pattern, for the past month… God is continually reminding me to trust in God’s timing. Thank you for your comment and insight Emily. God used it to speak to my circumstance. Amen!

  • Thank you for sharing this

  • churchmouse

    “Yet even now…” (John 11:22) These are the words uttered by Martha in her darkest hour, her hour of great sorrow and grief. Three little words that reveal big faith. John 11: 27: “Yes, Lord, I believe…” and in John 11:39: “It’s been four days. ” Big faith followed by the stench of earthly reality. John 11:40: ” Didn’t I tell you… ” Jesus reminds Martha (isn’t this just the most tender of reminders?) that when we waver in faith, when the earth seems to loom larger than heaven, fall back on His words. And when we fall onto Him, we will see the glory of God. Most assuredly. The surest reality.

  • I have have no idea why, but all I wanted to do as I read the account if Jesus and the death of Lazarus is repeat His words, and insert my name…
    “Lord, (s)he whom you love is ill, in trouble, is broken, is lost, is struggling….”……. “This illness, ( these troubles, this ache in your heart, this season), because you are mine, because you walk with me and believe, does not lead to death, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John11:4-5)
    My friend Tina, has fallen asleep, has lost sight, has lost her way, needs me, but I go to awaken her, to remind her of who she is in me, to walk alongside her in her troubles, to plead for her, and to answer her prayers…I do this, that others may believe, through her testimony and living…(John 11:11-15)
    Now when Jesus came, Tina had been in in her ‘tomb’ a few days…. yet Jesus promises ” She will rise again….”
    “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me though he die, (faces difficulties, in a season, heartache, brokenness,) , yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall not die, shall not be alone, shall find peace, grace and mercy in me…”
    Jesus sees, but when he is called, when we lay ourselves bare to him and cry out as the sisters did… He comes. And He weeps, with us, for us…..He weeps.
    “See how He loves him/her!”
    Jesus, deeply moved, came to the ‘tomb’, the troubles, the season, the heartache, the brokenness, the stone that has closed my heart, blocked my way. And He says…”Take away the stone, break down those walls, remove her sadness, heal her heart, break those chains of all that have her buried hère…”
    We may question, we may argue its been too long, nothing can change, there is nothing to be done…
    Did I not say to you, did I not promise, that if you believed, you would see the glory of God? Oh me of little faith!
    As our Savior, our friend our redeemer, Jesus prays to His father, Our Father in heaven, thanking Him, for hearing His intermediary prayers for Lazarus, for us, for me…
    “Loose him/her and set her free, take away the cloth that bind her, the bandages that bound her to ‘death’, that blinded her to my love…my heart for her…

    I believe Lord Jesus, I believe in you, in your tears, in your love for me…and I trust that no matter the time, you are always on time with your answer, your blessings, your loving arms, to the glory of God the Father… Thank you Jesus, Thank you….

    Sorry for the lengthy commentary, I pray it helps someone today…it sure helped me as I wrote…

    Happy Monday with every blessing being prayed for you…

    • Casey K

      Thank you for this!

    • Libby

      Thank you Tina! This moved me so much! My heart is swelling with love for Jesus!

    • Marytony


      • Susan

        Thank you! I needed to read this, brought to tears, opened my heart to see more clearly.

    • churchmouse

      Yes. Preach it, sister, for it is Truth! Thank you, Tina.

    • Jen C

      Thank you! This really spoke to me today.

    • Susan

      Yes and thank you. This is beautiful!

    • SB

      Thank you for making this passage so real to me. Beautiful.

    • Brandi


    • Carol


    • Sarah_Joy

      Thank you for sharing this! I’ve always wished I could’ve had the relationship with Jesus like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. What a reminder that He desires me just like that!!

    • candacejo

      Tears! I needed this today and it’s obvious so did many, many others. Blessings to our friend across the Big Pond. ♥

    • ~ B ~

      T – This is profound and beautiful! So glad God laid this on your heart and that you shared it with the rest of us! Love it greatly! Thank you friend!

    • DebbieinAZ

      Happy Monday to you as well. I recently listened to a Family Life Today broadcast that featured Don Whitney, who wrote a book on how to pray the scriptures. Found hear:
      Your commentary brings his point home perfectly and shows a great example of how God uses it (His Word) to speak to us as we communicate with Him. Thank you so much for sharing this. I know it blessed me and is confirmation to me that God wants me praying His word.

      Love you. Have an abundantly blessed week.

    • Missy

      Thank you Tina- that was beautiful

    • Mamajonk

      Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts with us. Your words are always so timely. Praying God’s abundant blessings be poured out over you today and every day! Xo

    • Tamisha

      Well spoken Tina!

    • Cecilia

      Tina, This is really helping me in a time of utter need. I’ll be re-reading your comment until this particular struggle is lifted from my heart. Thank you, sister ❤️️

    • Victoria

      So very much needed to hear this today….thank you, Tina!

    • Emmi

      I love this!

    • Lynn

      ❤️ Thank you!

  • “What is the answer to sin, death and darkness? Christ.”

    Darkness. Darkness was my life tonight as I’ve cried with God for the last hour and the shadows of depression and hopelessness have been my ever-present company.

    I don’t usually leave a comment (much too shy and stalkerish normally), but today it’s important. This Truth was important to me tonight. In the darkness, Christ is my light, my hope. When I compare myself to some idea of what I should be, I see only failure. When I compare myself to Christ, I see my shame and in that very instant it is removed. I see my unrighteousness and immediately know that I have claim to a righteousness I did not (nor could not) earn. And instead of condemnation at my perfect failure, I feel hope and peace because of His perfect grace.

    Thank you for being a conduit for God’s Truth tonight, ladies.

    • Pam

      Precious Emmi – praying that Christ’s great light will continue to shine in the darkness and that you will feel His overwhelming presence and His love for you. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Marytony

      Dear Emmi, praying for you! And no need to try to measure up to anyone or anything. There is no condemnation for those that remain in Jesus Christ. I invite you to see yourself through the eyes of Jesus: loved, beautiful, worthy to die for, redeemed, his beloved bride! Read the new testament and mark every time in the text where it says “in Him…” or “through Him…” (referring to Jesus), because that is the new identity He bought for you in the cross!!!!

    • Christine Marie

      Praying for you Emmi. God is inviting us to love ourselves as He loves us. This is something I’ve been working on in my own life. Comparison is a distraction from what God is truly calling us to, however it is so easy to do in our society. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and are uniquely loved by the Savior of the world! It helps me to repeat that to myself when I’m struggling with comparison. He has you today and always in His arms.

    • C

      You are a beautiful wonderful creation of God Emmi! I pray that He shows Himself to you through the darkness. You are sweet, treasured, important, loved.

    • A. Kate

      Praying for you today. Jesus, I ask for healing in Emmi’s heart, mind and body. Whether that healing is found miraculously in You, or You lead her to find medical help and care, I ask that you touch her and continue to restore her hope.

    • Kara

      So glad you are feeling hope & peace through Christ despite the lies from Satan of hopelessness. Continue to call those lies out for what they are & claim God’s truth!! As a fellow believer who also battles depression & anxiety, I know it can be a difficult battle. Praying for you!! And please don’t let the shame that Satan can try to make you feel prevent you from seeking help if needed. A wonderful Christian counselor has been such a blessing to me, & other things like an antidepressant or bright light therapy can be a huge help as well. ❤

    • Emmi

      Thank you all! Your prayers and kind/encouraging words are treasured :)

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