November 18, 2012
The verse that I’d like to focus on, in this Chapter is the famous verse, the shortest verse in the entire Bible, verse 35 “Jesus wept.” This is not the only incidence of Jesus waiting in the Bible but this is the most famous because it’s the shortest verse in the Bible so that itself causes us to take notice when we see that God chose to put this little thought as one verse, just two words. It has great significance. I’m going to point out this morning three specific times that the Bible tells us about Jesus weeping. And I will talk about why he wept. Look, if you would, at verse 32.
The Bible reads, “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.” And then of course, the famous verse “Jesus wept. “Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”
Of course, if we go on, He performs this great miracle, where He says “Lazarus come forth” and Lazarus came back to life. He raised Lazarus from the dead. But this is the first specific instance, I want to point to three, I’m sure Jesus wept many other times in his life. But I want to point to three specific times that the Scripture tells about. This is the first specific time where Jesus wept and so the question is, why did he weep? First of all, the reason that he wept, all of the times that he wept throughout his life, is because he was a human being. A lot of times, we lose sight of that because the fact that we believe that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. And Jesus Christ certainly was God in the flesh. There are many, many scriptures to prove that. The Bible says, for example, in Hebrews 1:8 “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” So, spoken to the Son Jesus Christ, he said “Thy throne, O God is for ever and ever.”
Go to 1 Thessalonians 4. Let me show you another one. And it kind of ties in with John 11 in its subject matter. And of course, there’s a verse that says in 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…” And it’s about Jesus Christ. It says that he was manifest in the flesh. He was preached unto the Gentiles. He was received up into glory.” All the “he’s” there are referring to God, saying that God was the one who is manifest in the flesh. The Bible says in the beginning was the word, and the word was “with God”, and the word “was God” the same as in the beginning with “God”, and the Bible says “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” So there are many, many scriptures we can turn to of the fact that Jesus is God. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Prince of Peace, The mighty God, The everlasting Father.”
But look down, if you would, at 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4. It’s a famous passage about Jesus Christ’s second coming. Look what the Bible says in verse 13, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” So, who is going to bring the sleeping Jesus with us? “Them also who sleep in Jesus will,” who bring with him? God. And who’s coming in the clouds in this passage? Jesus Christ. Do you see how it refers to Him as The Lord, and the next verse, it says “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.” And if we can hear these other passages, obviously, it’s clear that Jesus that’s coming in the clouds and yet it calls him God. It calls him The Lord. We could show you just tons of passages that use the word “God” or “The Lord” to describe Jesus. Yes, He was God. But also, God was manifest in the flesh and He became a man and the Bible calls him the Man of Christ of Jesus. And when Jesus Christ was on this earth, he was tempted in all points like as we are. Yet, without sin. Jesus Christ hungered. He thirsted. He was tired. He became sad. He became angry. So we don’t want to lose that side of the fact that yes, Jesus Christ was a 100% God but he was also a 100% man, as well. He was God in the form of man. So he took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man. So we don’t want to forget the humanity of Christ. Even though we believe in the deity of Christ, the fact that we was God but we need also to understand his humanity. For we as human beings go through times when we’re weak, don’t we? And if you look at great men in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, there’s a lot of weeping. The man I’ve forgot [unclear] is the man who the Bible records more than any other weeping – David.
If you look at David’s life, he’s weeping on almost every chapter. I went through and looked up every time David wept, thinking about making a sermon about that, and it was just, that’s more than one sermon. He wept so many times. And you look at men throughout the Bible. You look at Elijah. He wept. You look at Jeremiah, the Prophet. He wept. You look at the Apostle John. He wept. You look at the Apostle Paul. He wept. And throughout the Bible, there’s a lot of weeping in the Bible because human beings weep. And Jesus Christ also wept because he was human, even though he was perfect, even though he was sinless, He still wept.
In this passage, I’m going to show you three times that he wept. But in this passage, I believe that the reason that Jesus wept in this passage, is because the people that he loved were suffering, because, look down at your Bible, if you would. You’re in John 11. And you have to get back there. It says in verse 33, “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” So when Jesus saw her weeping and he saw the other Jews that were with her weeping, he was troubled. He groaned in the spirit. He wept. The Bible says, in Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” So Jesus Christ commands us in the Book of Romans, that we should weep with those that weep. And so here, we Jesus weeping with those who weep. He is feeling the sorrow that they’re feeling. Because they’re sad, that made Him sad. The people that he loved were suffering, and therefore caused him to suffer.
Look down, if you would, at verse number 34. It says “And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews..” Look at verse number 36, right when they see him weeping, “Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” You’d say, “Well, if that’s really why he wept..” We’ll jump back to verse 5 and God tells us. In John 11:5, the Bible says, “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” So the Bible tells us that these were the people that Jesus loved. And so, therefore, when he sees them weeping, he’s weeping. And when they saw him weeping, that was evidence of his love for Lazarus, when they saw him weeping. And it says in verse number 37, “And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.”
And of course, the Bible says in Hebrews Chapter 4 verse 15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” So, it’s not that Jesus Christ is up in heaven, just cold and heartless, and not understanding the pain and the suffering that we’re going through. If you look at this passage, didn’t Jesus know that Lazarus is coming back? Because he had already planned this days before. He already explained. In the beginning of the chapter, he said “Lazarus is dead.” He said “Lazarus is sleeping but I’m going to awake him.” So he knew he was going to resurrect Lazarus from the dead. And a lot of times we’re going through pain and suffering in our lives, and we don’t know how it’s going to end up, right? We don’t know the future. We don’t know that everything will work out and [unclear]. We could believe that by faith, when we say the Bible and we look at its promises, but if we look at the immediate circumstances, we don’t know how they will turn out, do we? God does know how it will turn out. But that doesn’t mean that He’s just sitting up in heaven knowing that these people are going to be fine anyway and not sympathizing with the tears that we’re having in our immediate circumstance, our trials and tribulations and suffering. And so, he’s “not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He sorrows with us when we suffer, when we’re in sorrow. Even if he knows that everything is going to turn out right, he still has sympathy with us and understands what it’s like. You know why? Because he’s been there.
He could sorrow with us and suffer with us because the Bible says “he can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities” because he was, in all points, tempted like as we are, yet without sin. When you’re hungry and starving and don’t have any food, don’t have any money to buy food, Jesus knows what that’s like, because there were times that he was without food in his life. He was without food for 40 days and 40 nights. You say “that’s impossible.” First of all, with God, all things are possible. But second of all, there are people in modern day, who got 40 days without it. But you can’t go 40 days without water. But you can go 40 days without food. I don’t think I can do it. I don’t think I have the reserves for that. But some people probably could, I don’t know. But I know there are men in our days who have gone 40 days without eating. But it’s not fun. It’s pain, it’s suffering. And so, when you’re hungry, Jesus knows what it’s like to hungry. When you are working hard and staying up all night and you have to work all night, and you work a crazy amount of hours, Jesus knows what that’s like, because there are many times in the Bible that Jesus had to stay up all night. There were times in the Bible, where Jesus couldn’t find a place to sleep. And so when you don’t have a place to lay your head, he’s been there. When you lose a loved one, he’s been through it. When you go through times when you’re having problems with your family and they’re persecuting you, you know what, he’s been there, because his brethren mocked him and didn’t believe on him. He has been through everything that we go through in our lives. He lived down to serve for 33 ½ years and the Bible says, and I believe it, that he was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. There’s nothing you could say “I’m going through some of those harder than what Jesus went through. He didn’t understand.” No, he’s been through worse than anything you go through, he’s gone through worse in his life.
Therefore, he can understand and he can sympathize with us, when we’re going through hard times. And I believe that he sympathized with their sorrow and sadness here in this story. He wept when the people that he loved were suffering. And we should be the same way. We’re commanded to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. The Bible says “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” We should be concerned. When other are people are suffering, we should suffer. And when other people are rejoicing, we should be happy for them. Not to be self-centered, where everything is just about what we’re going through in our life. If things are going great for us, we don’t want to hear about anybody else having a hard time. And we’re just having fun. Things are going great. Or, “I’m sad right now. I’m sorrowing right now. I don’t want to hear your good news. I don’t want to rejoice with you right now.” But the Bible says we should get the focus off ourselves and focus on what other people are going through. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. And we should rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. And that is being Christ-like when we live our lives in that way.
Let’s look at the second time Jesus wept. Go to Luke 19. So the first time we see Jesus weeping is when his friend Lazarus is dead, and he sees the pain and sorrow of those that love Lazarus and those that are weeping for him. Another theory that is being put forth about John Chapter 11, I think it’s about a theory - some people said when Jesus wept and they’re unbelief. Because they didn’t believe that he had the power to raise him. I don’t really believe that because it’s possible. I’m not saying that it’s a bad belief but if you look at, I think, Martha shows that she really did have the faith, because she said “I know that whatever you ask the Father to do, He’ll do it.” And she said that I know he’ll be raised up at the last day. And so, I don’t necessarily get that from the passage, but it’s possible. And that’s another reason why Jesus possible could wept in John 11. You could read it and be the judge.
But look at Luke 19, and see that second time that the Bible specifically tells about Jesus weeping. Luke 19 verse 35, the Bible reads “And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
So this is the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ. He’s just about to be crucified but before that, he enters in. This is where the holiday Palm Sunday comes from, where he comes in on a colt [unclear], and they lay out the palm branches in their coats and they wave for him, and he makes the triumphal entry in the Jerusalem, where they say “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” But look what comes next. In Chapter 19 verse 41, the Bible reads, “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.”
So, as he’s coming near, he basically gets a bird’s eye view of the city. He gets to a place where he can behold the entire city in one time. He sees the city of Jerusalem in the distance. And it says, when he beheld the city, it said, he wept over it. And verse 42, what did he say as he was weeping? “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, and shall lay thee even with the ground..”He’s talking about the city being destroyed there and lay even with the ground.
“And thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.”
So the first time we saw Jesus weeping in John 11, he’s weeping because those that he loved were suffering. And that shows the he’ll sympathize with us when we’re suffering. We know he loves us. We know we’re his children. He has sympathy with us when we’re suffering. But number 2, he wept over the lost. He looked at the city, and the Bible tells us in John Chapter 1 that “Jesus Christ came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” And so he’s weeping over the lost. He came unto his own. The city of Jerusalem that should have received him, and should have believed on him. He’s weeping because he knows that he will be rejected of them. He knows that he will be rejected of that generation. He knows that he’s going to be crucified and killed, and then, many of these people will be shouting “crucify him” in just a few days time and cause him to be put to death. And so he’s weeping over the lost.
Go, if you would, to Ezekiel Chapter number 33. And as you’re turning there, I’ll read for your from 1 Timothy Chapter 2 Verse 3. The Bible reads, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Don’t tell me that it’s God’s will that most people go to hell. Don’t tell me that. Most people will go to hell according to the Bible. The Bible tells us “Enter ye in at the strait gate,” but he said “broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” And now the response to the question “Are there few that be saved?” And so, we know that the majority is not saved and the majority will go to hell. But do not tell me that it is God’s will for people to go to hell because it is not God’s will for people to go to hell. Calvinism is a false doctrine. The Bible says right here that God will have all men to be saved, and they come unto the knowledge of the truth. “Will” there is not the future tense. “Will” there is the desire. He is willing that all men will be saved and they come to the knowledge of the truth.
And then he says next, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
The Bible says he is the Saviour of all men. And you’d say, “All just means, all the elect.” OK, the Bible says he’s the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe. That means that he’s the Saviour of them that don’t believe. But he’s especially the Saviour of those that do believe. Look, it will not do any good for those who don’t believe that the Saviour is there, reaching out his hand and he’s calling and they refuse. It’s not going to do them any good. Christ does have no effect unto them - the Bible says. They’re falling from grace. They will not be saved. But you know what, he’s still the Saviour of the world. He still died for all. He still did by the grace of God. Taste death for every man, the Bible says. And the Bible says, in 2 Peter Chapter 3 verse 9… You’re in Ezekiel. " The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” So is God’s will? God’s will is that who one that does not believe in Jesus Christ - the one who is not saved will basically change what they believe, and trust Christ as Saviour. That they would not continue in unbelief. That they would not continue in their unsafe condition. God wants people to be saved. And God is not willing that they perish. God is not willing that they would go to hell. God would rather have them be saved. That’s what God will prefer. Did you hear me? God will prefer for people to be saved than for them to go to hell. He loves us. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son.”
Look at Ezekiel 33 verse 11. The Bible says, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” God wants people to do what’s right. God wants people and people are in sin, He wants them to change. He wants them to do right. If people are not saved, He wants them to get saved. God is not up in heaven, wanting bad people to do bad things, wanting wicked people to continue being wicked, wanting the unsaved to remain unsaved. But at the same time, that’s what will happen because God has given us free will, and most people will make the wrong choice, unfortunately. But it’s not that it’s God’s plan or God’s will.
A lot of people will misunderstand this doctrine. Go to Song 1:26, if you would. A lot of people will misunderstand this doctrine. Because we see that God, clearly, loved everybody right, and died for everybody. Isn’t that clear? He loved everybody, he died for everybody. Isn’t it clear that he wanted everybody to be saved? So a lot of people will misunderstand this and think, “Will God continue to always love everybody? And God always continues to feel bad about sending people to hell.” That is not true. You have to get the full balance of what the Scripture teaches. Whenever people are in the false doctrine, they’re always isolating things, and they’re not getting the big picture of the whole Bible. Because the Bible does teach, very clearly, that there will come a day when God will laugh at the calamity of the wicked, when God will rejoice and praise the fact that, if you look at Revelation, they’re basically thanking God that He’s making the wicked drink blood and so forth, and that He’s punishing them and sending them to hell. So, you have to understand that there does come a point where God’s mercy comes to an end. There does come to a point where God says “My spirit will not always strive with man.” And there comes to a point where He does laugh at their calamity and mock when their fear cometh. But what you have to understand is that that’s not how He wanted it to end up. When He gets to that point, He doesn’t have a second thought about sending people to hell, because that’s where they deserve to go. Don’t make any mistake about that.
But that doesn’t mean that before it’s too late, before they died without Christ, or before they rejected him or blasphemed the Holy Ghost, and made their final decision, then He does not do everything and tell us to do everything, to try to get people to believe on Him before it’s too late. So you have to understand that God loves every single person and pleads them to be saved, wants them to be saved, does everything, tells us to do everything to try to get them saved. He says “I don’t want you. I don’t take pleasure in a whole bunch of people going. No, I want you to get saved before it’s too late.” But there does come a time when His mercy comes to an end.
There He is the God of the second chance but He’s not always the God of the 500th chance. He’s not always the God of the 20th chance, there comes a time. Listen to me. I don’t care what false doctrines out there, when somebody dies without Christ. It’s done. It’s too late. There is no second chance after this life.
But when Jesus looked at that city, he wept over it. I can understand that. I understand because I have looked over a city and wept over it before. I can honestly say that the Small Town Soul-winning marathon that we did yesterday, I have never been to that particular town. I think that was our 10th marathon or 11th or whatever it was, but I’ve never been to the town of Baghdad. I’ve never really wept over to the town of Baghdad, but the whole Small Town Soul-winning ministry that we do was born out of driving, because I did so much driving, so much travelling, coming up over the hills and seeing small towns. Not that particular small town but other small towns that we’ve already done. And driving up over the hill and seeing a small town and weeping over it saying “Will these people ever hear the Gospel?” Because I looked in the phonebook and how many times, as I travel across California and Arizona and other places, have I opened the phonebook and just look and seen that there is not a Baptist Church in these towns at all. Or if there is, it’s some Apostate Baptist Church that’s preaching out of some phony Bible version. No Soul-winning total work salvation. If they don’t have a King James, they don’t even have the Word of God. You know what I mean? There’s no power there. There’s no salvation there. There’s no soul-winning there.
I can honestly say that I’ve driven over the crest of a hill many times in my travels, and seen the lights of some small little town. Some tiny little village of maybe, tiny by our standards, 1500, 2000, 3000 people. And I’ve wept over it and said “God, will these people ever get a chance to hear the Gospel?” There’s no church there. There’s nobody to preach. There’s nobody to do any soul-winning there. And that’s where, that small town, ministry was born - was from looking at these towns. Jesus looked at the city and he has not seen buildings. He’s not weeping about the buildings falling over to the ground. He doesn’t care about buildings. I wasn’t weeping over city lights, my friend. I looked at those lights and I realized that every light was a person, was a human being. And that’s why I love soul-winning because with soul-winning, you’re dealing with real human beings. It’s not like we’re just going out there and going through emotions. Every door that we knock, you’d say “Don’t get tired of preaching the same message over and over again? For 14 years of soul-winning?” But I tell you this, every person you give it to is a new person. And it’s a real soul. It’s a real human being. When I’m talking to these people, I love that person. Don’t you feel that way? You love that. You want him to be saved and it’s sad when they don’t get saved. When they don’t want to hear it. You walk away sorrowful because you just wished that you’d have the chance to tell him, because you love people and that’s how Jesus was. He’s not this cold-hearted Calvinist God up in heaven… just doesn’t care… damns everybody to hell… doesn’t even care. It’s all parties. It makes him happy. It’s all parties.
Yeah, someday He’ll rejoice over it once He’s given them a bunch of chances and they just keep rejecting Him. But let me tell you this, though. He does care. He does love the lost. And the Calvinist will teach you that He only loves the elect. That’s not true. Yes, He loves the same. Yes, He loves the Children of God. Yes, He loves the elect. But He also loves the lost. And He wept over the lost, and He prayed for the lost and He wanted the lost to be saved and when He knew that they weren’t be saved, and He knew that they will never listen, He wept about it and He was sad about it, and He felt bad about it in this passage in Luke 19. He sorrowed and wept over the lost.
Let me ask you this. Have you ever wept over the lost? Go to Song 1:26 and get a great soul-winning tip. It says in Song 126 verse 5, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” It says in verse 6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Let me ask you this. Is there any doubt that the one who weeps over lost souls and brings the precious seed of God’s Word will come back rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him? Any doubt about it? There’s no doubt! He said that he would doubtless come again with rejoicing and bringing his sheaves with him. You say that soul-winning doesn’t work. Soul-winning always works. It works when there’s a tear in the eye and a Bible in the hand. It must work. Do you have any doubt? I don’t have any doubt that it works. If there’s a tear in the eye and the Word of God in the hand, soul-winning always works. I’m not saying that it will work every 59 minutes or 59 seconds that you go out to do it. He didn’t say you will come back 5 minutes later to bring in new sheaves with you. But you will come again rejoicing, if not today, then tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, the day after that. You will come again rejoicing bringing your sheaves with you.
Don’t tell me that soul-winning doesn’t work. Either it’s soul-winning doesn’t work, then the Bible is not true. If soul-winning doesn’t work, then the Gospel has lost its power. If soul-winning doesn’t work, then the Word of God is no longer the precious seed. And if soul-winning doesn’t work, then you don’t have a tear in your eye. You don’t love people and you don’t care about the lost. That’s what the Bible says in Luke. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Why would they ever think it doesn’t work because they’re willing to put in the work. Whenever people tell me that soul-winning doesn’t work, I always respond with this. “No, you don’t work.” Because soul-winning works when you work, don’t make any mistake. Soul-winning is very hard work. Anybody who goes to soul-winning will tell you that it’s strenuous hard work. I guarantee that everybody that went out to soul-winning, they’d say that they were very tired when they got home last night. And they’re probably very tired this morning. I know, I was. It’s tiring. It’s work. It’s hard work. And a lot of people, sometimes, don’t realize how much you mind drains your body of energy. When you have to think really hard. And just when your spirit is engaged, and your soul is engaged, and your mind is engaged. It’s not just the physical activity of the walking and talking of ministry. It’s the virtue that goes out of you when you’re preaching the Word of God. Soul-winning. And so, when you do the work, it works. But if you do with a tear in the eye, there’s no doubt that it will work. That’s what it says in Song 126 verse 6. Great verse.
But let’s look at the third time that Jesus wept. Go to Hebrews Chapter 5. Hebrews Chapter number 5 tells us about the third specific time that Jesus wept. And I’m going in the chronological order of Jesus’ life. If you remember the first time that we saw him weep was when those that he loved were suffering. He wept with them. He felt bad. He sympathized with them. He felt their pain. The second time that we saw him weep, he was weeping for the lost. So, the first time, he was weeping for the saved. He was weeping for his friends. He was weeping for those that he loved dearly on a human level. They were his close friends. Jesus Christ, you’d say “Jesus loved [unclear].” But hold on a second. There were certain people that he loved, that were his, humanly speaking, his close friends. Mary, Martha and Lazarus were people that were special friends to him. Just like we as special friends in our life. There are close friends. Jesus had close friends like that. Of the disciples, he kind of have a certain disciple that was the disciple whom he loved, right? The Apostle John. Just like David was a man after his own heart. It’s not that I’m saying that he didn’t love the other disciples, but on a human level, we all have people that are good friends or close friends. And when his friends and the people that he loved were suffering, he wept with them.
Secondly, we saw him weeping over the lost – people that didn’t get saved. He loved them and wept over them. He felt bad for them. But thirdly, we see him weeping over his own sufferings. He’s weeping for his own sufferings. You’d say, “If Jesus seems like he’s always weeping for other people.” But here is an instance where he wept for himself. Look at Hebrews Chapter 5 verse number 6. The Bible reads, “As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” That’s talking about Jesus. Chapter 5 Verse 7, “Who in the days of his flesh..” – talking about the days that Jesus was in the flesh, “.. when he had offered up prayers and supplications…” watch this, “with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”
So here we see that Jesus Christ offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears, and here is the key, where we can understand when this was in Jesus’ life. It says, “unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.”
Go, if you would, to Luke Chapter number 22. You see that Jesus Christ prayed that he would not have to die on the cross. And again, this goes back to the humanity of Christ. We talked about the fact the Jesus is God, but he was also a man. He’s the Son of God, yes, but he’s also called the Son of Man. And he’s called the Son of Man scores of times. But Jesus Christ, when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, was dreading going to the cross. He did not want to die on the cross. Humanly speaking, he dreaded the thought of it. And you would say “Why would he dread?” Good night! How many reasons are there why he dreaded – being spat upon, being publicly humiliated, mocked to make fun of. You’d say “Why, it didn’t bother Jesus?” Nope, it says in Hebrews 12. He despised the shame.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” He endured it but he didn’t like it. He despised the shame. Nobody wants to be stripped down, beaten, made fun of, slapped, punched, pummelled, whipped, and being spat on the face is not pleasant. That’s humiliating. He didn’t like the shame of the spectacle that he was made. But now that the physical pain, Jesus felt that physical pain, just as we would feel it. He felt the pain of every lash of the whip. He felt the pain of the nails being hammered into his hands. He felt the pain and the suffering of that death and agony. And what about that event that took place when the sun was darkened and he said “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What about the fact that he spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth? Jesus Christ was going through a very horrible ordeal. On the next day, he knew he was going through it, and so he was dreading it in the Garden of Gethsemane, and he’s praying that the Father, that if there’s any way he could not do it. He wanted to be delivered from death. He didn’t want to go through that. And I can understand why.
Look what is says in Luke 22 verse 41. “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down…” He separated himself from the disciples and prayed. Verse 42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” The Father was willing that he would go to the cross. The Father’s will was that he complete the mission that he was sent to this Earth for - to seek and to save them that was lost, to offer himself as a sacrifice. The Bible says the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world in 1 John 3. And so, the Father’s will was that he go through with it and finish the work which he came to do. Jesus, humanly speaking, obviously as a human being, he doesn’t want to go through that kind of pain and suffering. That’s unimaginable to us. And so, he says “not my will, but Thine be done.” He said, humanly speaking, I have feelings about this. I don’t want to do this, but it was more important to Jesus that the Father’s will be done than his own will be done. And that’s a lesson for us. That should be our model also. Not my will, God, but Thine will be done.
And look what is says in verse 43, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” So at this point, God sends an angel unto to the Lord Jesus Christ as he is weeping. And you say “That doesn’t say he wept.” But in Hebrews 5, it said he wept. And Hebrews 5, it said there were strong crying and tears at this time, when he was praying to be delivered from death. And so as he’s praying, he’s weeping. He’s crying. He’s in agony. He’s sorrowing. And so, an angel comes from heaven. God sends an angel to strengthen him, to encourage him, to motivate him, to help him. Look at verse 44, “And being in an agony..” Look at the words that God is using here – an agony, “…he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” This is some serious agony. This is some serious sorrow. This is some serious weeping in the life of Jesus.
Go, if you would, to Matthew 26. Let’s look at another passage that records the same thing. Matthew Chapter 26 Verse 36, “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.” The Bible uses that word a lot – heavy or heaviness, and it’s where we get our word today – depress. Because something is pressing down. It’s heavy on you. And it says that he was very sorrowful and he was heavy. And it says in verse 38, “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” He’s saying I’m so sorrowful, I feel like I could die of the sorrow. I’m so exceeding…What does “exceeding” mean? The word “exceeding” would be like, let’s say that you have a cup, and it has a certain capacity for water. What happens when you “exceed” that capacity? It’ll be like, you fill in the water in the water cooler and you’re not paying attention and starts to gush over, right? Wouldn’t that be “exceeding” the capacity?
He’s basically saying, “I’m exceeding sorrowful,” meaning that, I have a certain capacity for sorrow. You have a certain capacity for sorrow of what you can handle. He said “this is exceeding sorrow.” This is an abundance of sorrow. It’s an overflow of sorrow. It’s too much sorrow, to the point of death. And he’s trying to get the disciples to understand. Sometimes, you’re going through hard things and sorrow and people don’t get it. You’re trying to express them, “I’m going through really hard time.” And sometimes, it’s just hard for people to understand. But Jesus is trying to get his disciples to understand. He’s starting at us, the reader of the Bible, to understand just how sorrowful he was. He wants us to understand that sorrow. And so, he’s using these words – agony, and he says “I’m exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and he fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” I have to [unclear] lesson 2, when we’re exceeding sorrowful and when we feel like we just can’t take it anymore, and we’re sorrowful unto death, the next thing he did was, he went a little farther. That’s a good advice. Just go a little farther. Just keep going. Don’t quit. He went a little farther and then, the next thing that we should do is fall on our face and pray. He fell on his face and prayed, saying “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
So, very clearly emphasized here that Jesus doesn’t want to do it, because he despises the shame. It’s painful. It’s horrific what he’ll go through, and he’s dreading it. But he lets that and take a back seat to the Father’s will. He says “not my will.” You’d say that the will was the same here. No. The will was not the same. Because he said “not my will, but Thine be done.” That’s a different will there. Do you see that?
And so, we see here the three specific times that Jesus Christ wept. These are three cases that should cause us to weep. There will be times in our lives when we should weep with those that are weeping. When we sorrow over the sufferings of those that we love. And then there should be times when we weep over the lost. And there will be times when we weep over our own sufferings. You’d say that we shouldn’t be selfish as I would know. Jesus was perfect and he wept over his own sufferings. Hezekiah wept over his own sufferings , and God said “I’ve seen your tears, Hezekiah. I will answer your prayer.” When we’re going through hard times, don’t turn to the bottle, when you’re exceeding sorrowful unto death. When you’re in heaviness, don’t turn to the bottle. Don’t turn to a prescription. Don’t turn to drugs. Don’t turn to your worldly friends. Don’t turn to worldly music to try to make you feel better. You know what we should do? We should weep. And then, we should fall on our face, and pray. And then God will strengthen us when we’re in times of sorrow and heaviness.
And so, we see three great examples from Jesus Christ here on Biblical weeping, and these should be a part of our life. This is who we should be, and the Bible talks about that one day, I’ll close with this, in Revelation 7… You’re not to turn there.. but the Bible talks about those that are saved in heaven. It says, “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” So God knows that our tears are there. David said that God told of all of his wanderings, and he said that God kept all of his tears in a bottle. That’s what David said in the Book of Song. And so God knows our tears. He’s been there. He wept himself and one day, He’ll wipe away our tears in our eyes. But while we’re on this Earth, these are three great reasons to weep – for the sufferings of others, for the lost, and when we’re in a hard time. You know that it’s OK to weep, and then pray to the Lord, and ask for strength. Don’t turn into the world for strength. Don’t turn to sin to make you feel better. It will not make you feel better. It will not bring the comfort that the angel of the Lord can bring you, and that God’s Word can bring you, and the Holy Spirit – the Comforter who dwells inside you can bring you.
Let’s rise and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for your Word and we thank you so much for your unspeakable gift that you did go through with it, Lord, and that you did – go to the cross and suffer and die for our sins – that we might not have to go through that horrible ordeal that you went through. Thank you for doing it for us. We could never even begin to pay for that gift. Thank you that it’s free. And we love you and thank you. In Jesus name we pray.