Did lack of faith make Jesus upset?

Watch the complete sermon here: https://www.bridges.church/messages/the-reversal-continues-esther-8/

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. This last week in Esther, we saw more reversals, and we talked about the reversal of from loud wailing to rejoicing and how God does that in our lives as well. In the course of talking about loud wailing, we mentioned when Jesus loud wailed when his friend Lazarus died. And so the question comes in this week. Was the reason Jesus cried so hard because of people’s lack of faith in him as the messiah or confidence in the resurrection in the future?

I’ve actually received this question a few times over the years, and so it’s important for us to spend some time on it today and make sure that we have a correct understanding. I believe as confident as we can be, the answer is no. That is not why Jesus was wailing. That idea comes from in John, chapter eleven. I think it’s around verse 14.

Before he goes to see Lazarus, he tells them plainly, hey, Lazarus has died because his disciples thought that Lazarus was just asleep. And Jesus says, for your sake, I’m glad I wasn’t there, so that you may believe. And so people take that and say, oh, they didn’t believe already. And so that must mean that Jesus was crying because these people didn’t believe. But that there’s, I would say there’s actually no evidence that Jesus was weeping for that reason.

In fact, in that very verse where it says, you, you know, I’m glad I wasn’t there so that you may believe. When it talks about their disbelief, Jesus says he’s glad about it is the word that is used there, that he has an opportunity to give them faith. He’s excited that he will be able to go do this miracle. He’s in no way upset that they, that they don’t believe. Secondly, of course, I mean, later in John, it says when Jesus sees them weeping, he was deeply troubled in spirit and he begins to weep.

Another reason why this is important, that Jesus was weeping, you know, with them in their grief and not because of lack of faith, is because it’s a command. Right? Weep with those who weep, mourn with those who mourn. And so if Jesus somehow felt above the situation that he didn’t need to weep over someone’s death, then he actually would have sinned if he weren’t weeping with those who weep. So that’s another important reason to get this right.

But lastly, one reason to talk about this and make sure we get it right is sometimes, not always, but sometimes the idea that Jesus was just weeping because of lack of faith can be tied to other types of ideas where, you know, Jesus only cares about the spiritual or the most important thing is belief. And getting to heaven and everything else doesn’t really matter. And this is, this question doesn’t have to be tied to that, but it can be tied to that. And of course, God cares if we believe and wants us to believe and works with us and has immense patience with us for us to come to repentance and belief, like he talks about in two.


But there’s so much more that God cares about, right? He’s going to redeem the physical world. He cares about our physical world. Jesus carries our sorrows, right? This is the suffering servant.

Throughout Isaiah, God is very linked into all aspects of our lives, and he feels with us in whatever moment that we’re having. So there’s never any kind of myopic view in God’s eyes of the only thing that matters is faith. I’m weeping because they don’t have faith. So it’s pretty important, actually, that we get this right, because I’ve gotten the question a number of times over the years. It seems like maybe this is a teaching that is out in the world that we, that we need to address, because it’s, as far as we can tell from John, as confident as we can be, it is not accurate, and it can actually tie us to a view of God that gives us a distorted view, that the only thing he cares about is the spiritual and us belief in getting to heaven.

So it’s important to get this right. So thanks. Thanks for the question. We really appreciate these, and we will see you next time. Bye.