Jesus wept – Responding to Difficult News


“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35.

Today I received some not so happy news from home and was overwhelmed with emotion. I hate receiving bad news when I am so far from home, but other than be there, I’m not sure what I could do besides pray. It was between the tears and the anxiety and the fear that I reluctantly turned to do my quiet time.

God is so good and faithful. I began with my devotional reading in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young and the message addressed anxiety and really spoke to me. I then moved into my Bible reading plan, which is John Chapter 11. It’s about the death of Lazarus and while I’m not dealing with death, I am experiencing similar feelings.

I sometimes forget that Jesus knows what we’re going through. He has experienced everything we have (except giving into sin) and then some. He is greeted by a grieving Martha, who shows her faith by saying that if He had been there Lazarus wouldn’t have died. Jesus alludes to the resurrection and she misunderstands His meaning.

Martha goes home and sends Mary to go talk with Jesus. People thought she was going to the tomb to grieve, so they followed her. It’s when Jesus sees Mary and the others weeping that “…He was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” (v.33). Jesus asks where Lazarus is buried and they show Him. Then in John 11:35, we see Jesus weep over His friend. The entire verse is just two words: “Jesus wept.”

Despite knowing that He would be raising Lazarus from the dead in just a few minutes, Jesus wept. This might sound weird but this verse is such a comfort to me. I don’t know what God’s plans are. No one has died but they are sick and I don’t know what the Lord has planned. I do know that Jesus understands what I’m feeling and I find comfort in that.

I find comfort in knowing that God’s got this. Lazarus, Martha and Mary were close to Jesus and I can see where the Jews were wondering why Jesus didn’t come immediately and heal Lazarus. He didn’t heal Lazarus because He was going to glorify God through the raising of Lazarus. God’s plans have a purpose, whether we can see them or not. While this event impacts me, it might be a necessary part of God’s plans in her life or someone else’s that this occurs.

I am reminded that God knows what He’s doing and all I can do is trust Him. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is such a comfort and I’d like to share it:

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” – Psalm 56:8


I don’t know how many times I’ve tossed and turned or how many tears I’ve cried this morning – let alone in my life but God does. He has the information recorded and if He cares about something this small enough to record it how much more does He care about our prayers and our big challenges? When things get tough and they don’t make sense, I encourage you to find comfort in the Father and know with all your heart that He’s got this.

Prayers are appreciated. How do you deal with bad news or tough times? Do you have any Bible verses that are particularly comforting or uplifting to you? 

4 thoughts on “Jesus wept – Responding to Difficult News

  1. I respond to difficult or shocking news by first processing it and then I pray for strength and comfort.. After my grandma passed away it was very hard time for myself and my family emotionally.. A scripture that definitely helped me was from psalms..( I forget exactly what one) but it’s the scripture how the Lord repairs the crushed in spirit and broken hearted. Another verse that helps me through life daily is Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I like what your wrote about how Jesus has experienced true grief and suffering as well.. It’s a great reminder that He really knows what we’ve been through.

    Liked by 1 person

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