Does Jesus like human suffering? Of course not! He came and suffered so that no one else would have to. But it is interesting, when you look at the accounts where Jesus wept or showed concern, it wasn’t over human suffering, but rather unbelief. Let’s explain.
Here, Jesus weeps because Jerusalem had rejected knowledge of Him:
Luke 19:41-42 (NKJV) Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
In this next passage, Jesus was troubled because the people were mourning Lazarus’ death without any hope, not believing that the resurrection and the life was right there in front of them. Jesus wept over their unbelief.
John 11:33-37 (NKJV) Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled… Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
And finally, here, amidst a brutal storm, Jesus was only concerned about His disciples’ faith. So much so, that His disciples incorrectly assumed that He didn’t even care about the situation at hand:
Mark 4:37-40 (NKJV) And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” …But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?“
So, what is my point in all of this? That even in the face of suffering or dangerous situations, Jesus was actually weeping and concerned over people’s unbelief, rather than the situation itself. And why is that? Because even if a believer goes through something, if they understand Jesus, that situation is no problem for them. In short order, they will see the glory of God manifest. There’s nothing tragic about that at all.
The real tragedy is when people refuse to believe who Jesus is to them, because their suffering is perpetual and there can be no remedy to it (Ephesians 4:18).
This is why Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s lack of knowledge. This is why Jesus wept over unbelief, not Lazarus’ death. This is why Jesus was concerned about His disciples faith, rather than the situation at hand. Unbelief toward Jesus is the real tragedy.
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