John 11:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:33, NIV: "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled."

John 11:33, ESV: "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled."

John 11:33, KJV: "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,"

John 11:33, NASB: "Therefore when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,"

John 11:33, NLT: "When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled."

John 11:33, CSB: "When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled."

What does John 11:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The woman weeping is Mary, sister of Martha, and of Lazarus, who has recently died (John 11:17). "The Jews" who are present are local neighbors, possibly including some of Jesus' enemies from Jerusalem (John 11:18–19). When Martha heard Jesus had arrived, she apparently made a quiet exit and was able to speak to Jesus alone (John 11:20). Mary, on the other hand, responded to Jesus' summons with a hasty departure (John 11:31). That attracted attention and led to this much-more-public scene.

Millennia after the resurrection of Jesus, many people in the west take His humanity for granted. Ancient pagan deities were either emotionless, or unconcerned with human problems. The idea of a god who would be sympathetic to mankind was foreign to people of that era. Only Judaism, with God's frequent analogies about marriage, depicted a deity who invested real emotion in people.

Two Greek phrases are used in describing Jesus' reaction to this scene. One is enebrimēsato tō pneumati, translated as "deeply moved in His spirit." This phrase will be used again in verse 38. The implication is not entirely sorrowful: a similar phrasing describes the indignant response to Mary's anointing of Jesus with oil (Mark 14:5). In this context, Jesus isn't angry at the people for being sad—He's angered that they have something to be sad about. His "spirit" is disturbed by what's happening. As a fully-human man, Jesus understands what it means to suffer loss (Hebrews 4:15–16). He knows that this is the result of sin; that death is a consequence.

The other Greek expression used here is kai etaraxen heauton, translated as "greatly troubled." This features the same word used to describe the waters of the pool in John 5:7. It would be fair to describe Jesus' mood here as "agitated."

As this incident unfolds, Jesus will continue to express very human emotions. That compassion for mankind's suffering is a unique aspect of Judeo-Christianity.