I think that “Jesus Wept.” is such a memorable verse, because of the way it serves a punctuation mark at the end of this chaotic scene.
Is Lazarus ok? Come quick. He needs You. He is going to die. You are too late. If only you were here sooner, then maybe…
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
It is interesting though.
I think it was from a place of empathy in the circumstance and sorrow that many watching would still not have faith.
And I agree: Adding a bunch of words here would do nothing but dampen the impact.
I shudder to think how many unnecessary words I have added that have made sentences worse…
Let’s go back to our example of “Jesus wept” and jazz it up a little more, not only casting it in the passive voice but throwing in an adjective and an adverb: “A distraught Jesus was observed weeping sorrowfully.” Here, instead of the original two words, we have seven. We have increased the word count 350% and have gained . . . What? We have added nothing but words and noise. If Jesus wept, we don’t need to add that he was distraught or that he wept sorrowfully, because intelligent readers can figure it out.