Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus is sick. When sickness is indicated in scripture it usually refers to someone being sick to the point of death. Jesus’ response is remarkable, if not cold; He stays right where He is for two more days. Lazarus dies and Jesus says “I’m glad I was not there” (v15). When Jesus does arrive near the place of His friend’s tomb, Jesus becomes angry (John 11:33-40 NLT). And, in that state of anger, “Jesus wept” (v35).
Some say He wept with grief over the loss of His friend. Others seem to doubt His authority/power because He failed to save Lazarus (vv 36-37). We should note here that the people grieved even though God was living and present among them. They grieved the way the world grieves, even though Jesus had been with them 3 long years. And, yet again, Jesus rescues them from their doubt, this time by raising Lazarus from the dead. Naturally, as is His custom, He gives His Father all thanks and Glory for the work He is about to accomplish for the benefit of all mankind.
At this public display of miraculous power, the Sanhedrin comes to grips with the undeniable. If they continue to let Jesus perform miracles, everyone will believe in Him and the Romans will come and take away both “their” place and “their” nation (v 48). That they deny the fact that the nation belongs to God is only the tip of the iceberg of sins Jesus rightly has against them. It seems clear, in this chapter, that everyone is coming to grips with the undeniable – Jesus is Lord. And, He has come to claim Israel and the world to life with Himself.
Jesus does His Father’s will, despite being unrecognized and rejected. Can you think of a time you trusted in God even though you felt defeated?
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?” -John 11:25-26 (NIV)