Why did Jesus weep when Lazarus died?


Was Jesus sad? Why was He sad if He knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead?


Jesus was a compassionate person. Don’t forget that he was totally human and divine. He had human emotions.

Have you ever been to a funeral in support of a friend, co-worker etc who lost a loved one? Sometimes you cry also and share their grief.

In this case Jesus was a friend of Lazarus so he had deep grief in losing a friend, but he was also weeping for Lazarus’ family.


i feel it’s because He felt the pain of
Lazarus’ family and friends…

John 11: ( KJV )
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.



Jesus felt the grief of Lazarus’ family and friends.

He also saw his own torment, suffering, death and resurrection mirrored in Lazarus coming forth from the tomb. Just as he, himself would do shortly. We know that he was not exactly delighted with the idea that he would be tortured and killed from Mt. 26:42. So, it is not unreasonable to think that he may have been anxious and fearful for himself, just as anyone who is fully human would be.


Someone in Our Sunday Visitor just asked if grief for the dead wasn’t just selfishness and guilt for what you’ll never do for them. This passage came to mind. I knew God had taken my 95 year old grandma to a better place and relieved her earthly suffering, but i still wept because i missed her. Jesus was very human and compassionate and He loved Lazarus. I think He wanted to show us that it’s good to grieve for those we love, but don’t forget to keep hope and knowledge of what is to come in your minds to comfort your sorrow.


With the other ideas being given…maybe it could be also that we, as humans, do not know what we are asking to make someone come back from the dead. Maybe Lazarus was in a better place than the one he left! And Jesus knew that…

Just a thought…and my…:twocents:


because Jesus was fully human and experienced the full range of human emotions. for the same reason we weep at the funeral of a loved one, even when we rejoice in their hope of heaven. this story is chosen as on of the imporant Gospels for Lent because of its importance in forshadowing the passion and Resurrection. It demonstrates our own eventual bodily resurrection from the dead, and Jesus’ tears acknowledge the sin, pain and death that will and must occur in this fallen world before that happy event.


Death is not God’s original plan for us. Our deaths come about because of sin. It makes sense to me that Jesus would weep to see the result of sin in the death of Lazarus, just as He had compassion on those suffering from illnesses, demon possessions, and other results of sin. Through Jesus’ Passion and death, our deaths can become an entry into new life, and a source of joy, but the sadness is still justified because we were not created for death.

I hope this makes sense. A priest I know explains this much better, but hopefully I at least made it intelligible.


Perhaps Jesus wept because His Divinity wanted to share with Humanity’s tradition and emotion of grieving for the dead. Just as His Divinity joined in suffering with His Humanity for our redemption at Calvary, so His Divinity also joins with His Humanity in other human emotions and life events, grieving for the dead being one example.

This is also seen when Jesus is baptised by John the Bapist. Jesus’s baptism was not necessary for His sanctification, as he was holy from the moment of his conception. Jesus’s Divinity chose to join with His humanity in the event of Baptism so as to make more complete and harmonious the life of God with the life of Man, and, of course, to set a good example.

Another example might be Jesus’s joining in the celebration of the wedding at Cana. His Divinity chose to participate in this event to further unify events in the ordinary life of man with the extraordinary events in the life of God. He makes the ordinary extraordinary. As man rejoices at such an event, so God also rejoices, the lives of man and God reflecting one another in greater harmony.

Jesus Humanity made holy all the ordinary occurrences and traditions in the lives of men by having his Divinity operating in those actions.

So if we, when we are weeping for the dead, join with Jesus’s weeping over the death of Lazarus, we can make our act a form of reparative suffering and or prayer. If we, when we are rejoicing over someone’s matrimonial union, join our celebration with that of Christ at Cana, our rejoicing can be like a form of prayer. Etc, etc …

This is my opinion on the matter, of course.

Hope this makes sense.

God bless!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.