"The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth."
John 11:44a NASB
The account of Lazarus' death and resurrection is rich and deep. Many people recall it. Some recall the shortest verse in the Bible is in the narrative: "Jesus wept," (John 11:35 NASB).
I've always thought Jesus wept from grief for his friend, and anguish for Mary and Martha. But maybe that's not why he wept at all.
The more and deeper and slower I read the gospels, the more I see the deliberateness of Jesus' actions. He deliberately did not go to the home of his good friends when he received word of Lazarus' illness. He deliberately delayed.
My soul screams, "What was he thinking? What kind of friend was he?"
Then a glimpse takes shape of how great the love of Jesus for his friends, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, is. Maybe Jesus didn't weep from grief and anguish. Maybe it was disappointment.
Jesus was cool. He knew exactly what was going to happen, AND he told the disciples.
4 When Jesus heard this he said, “The end of this sickness will not be death. No, this sickness is for the glory of God. This has happened to bring glory to the Son of God," ... 11 Then Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus is now sleeping, but I am going there to wake him.”
12 The followers answered, “But, Lord, if he can sleep, he will get well.”13 They thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was literally sleeping, but he really meant that Lazarus was dead. 14 So then Jesus said plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad I was not there. I am happy for you because now you will believe in me. We will go to him now.”
John 11: 4, 11-15 ERV
Does your heart break for Jesus in that moment? He loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha so much that he was going to give them the very best gift of all. And they greeted him with dashed hopes and threadbare faith.
Oh, Dear Reader, how often I forget that Jesus has chosen the absolutely best gifts for me. I'm disappointed in what I seem to be given because it's not what I'd hoped for. I'm embarrassed to admit that sometimes I throw a little hissy fit.
Has that ever happened to you? You prayed for God's will. You listened intently, and tried to be happy in obedience. And then it seemed like all your hopes and dreams flew out the window on the wings of God's gift.
And yet, when we search our very depths, would we ever want to make Jesus cry on purpose?
I'm so thankful for God's Word! He's willing to tell us over and over and over again. He doesn't mind telling us upside down or inside out. HE LOVES US & ONLY WANTS THE VERY BEST FOR US!
Dear Reader, perhaps I need to start writing down my "big" prayers. One of the first ones on the list for me and you and everybody we care about, or know, or don't know, would be for us to seek and graciously,faithfully the gifts God has for us.