Why would the Lord Jesus create a situation in which His only response would be weeping? Could He not have stopped His friend from dying — and put an end to the sisters’ grief — and His own? Let’s look at the next section of John 11 . . .
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
When invited to come and see Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus joined Mary and Martha and the professional mourners in weeping. He was moved by their grief. He was broken by the sadness that death had brought to that family.
Some Jews there said, “See how he loved him!” (v. 36). Jesus’ tears showed His great love for that trio.
But others asked, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (v. 37). What that group failed to realize was that ability does not equal appropriateness. Power does not supercede plan. The issue was not Jesus’ capability but His purpose.
We may assume that the blind man and his healing to which the Jews refer is the man born blind in John 9. But their logic was as follows: Jesus showed His power to a blind stranger <<>> Now someone He loved was dying <<>> Real love is intervening in that loved one’s tragedy <<>> Jesus doesn’t keep His friend from dying (and He could have) <<>> Therefore, Jesus doesn’t really love Lazarus and Mary and Martha. Our logic often gets us in trouble too, doesn’t it? (to be continued)