Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.” (John 11:14-15)
Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “where did you put him?”
“Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept.
The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.”
Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all he opened the eyes of a blind man.”
Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead for four days!”
Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (11:33-40)
Things i’ve noticed:
1. Jesus’ “anger welled up within him.” Twice.
2. “if only you were here”
3. “if he loved him *that* much”
4. “it’s been four days…”
5. “Didn’t I tell you?”
6. “new grounds for believing//the glory of God.”
It’s become very evident to me that it’s not Jesus’ love, or lack thereof, for Lazarus, Mary or Martha that is at the center of this story. He gets just a little angry when people begin to tie his love to his acts. They begin thinking that they are the reason for what Jesus did. But really, this miraculous act was about the glory of God.
Somehow we begin to think that God’s love for us is only made evident when He does what we want Him to do, in our time. But that’s not love. Love isn’t always getting what you want.
We know God loves us because He puts us in the midst of his miraculous works. Whether it’s creation or redemption, He has made us a part of His great plan for this world. And he does miracles all the time to give us reason to believe in it, to continue believing in it, even when He doesn’t do what we want when we want Him to.