Why did Jesus groan when Lazarus died (John 11:33)?


Question:Why did Jesus groan when Lazarus died?

Answer: John the apostle wrote, “Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.”

Jesus groaned in rightouss indignation

Mary’s weeping and that of the close friends of Lazarus was a sincere display of sorrow, but much of the other weeping was probably the unthinking wailing which is characteristic of Oriental funerals. This artificial wail of the hired mourners is seen in Mark 5:39, “When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”

The word “groaned,” basically means “to blow” or “to snort [in anger]” (Daniel 11:30). The associated phrase, “and was troubled” (John 11:33), shows the same idea. Hence, groaning describes a commotion of mind, a strong emotional experience of righteous indignation, caused by the fake sorrow of the Jews assembled. Jesus knew that these very individuals who wailed would soon be crying crucify him.

Jesus groaned for the destiny of the lost

Also, Jesus groaned in the spirit over the lost for rejecting His free offer of salvation. He calls them saying, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:31). But He can’t force Himself on sinners. They need to respond to His call of love.

Christ promises all that accept Him eternal life. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). But the decisive factor lies with men themselves—“as many” as receive and believe are granted access to son-ship (Isaiah 55:1; Ephesians 1:5; Revelation 22:17).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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