Jesus’ weeping at Lazarus’ tomb produced two reactions from the Jews who were observing. Some said, “See how He loved him!” Others said, “Why didn’t He keep him from dying? He opened the eyes of the blind man!” Let’s look at this section of John 11 once more …
33 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.
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?”
There is no record of Jesus responding to those two reactions, either His love for Lazarus or His inaction in preventing him from dying.
We do read the following: “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.” (v. 38). I had never noticed the “once more deeply moved” before.
This seems to indicate that Jesus broke down and wept before He went to Lazarus’ tomb and a second time when He arrived there. John the gospel writer could have written, “And Jesus wept a second time,” couldn’t he?
We aren’t told the details of Jesus’ “once-more-being-deeply-moved,” but perhaps it was more than tears of sympathy. Perhaps there was also anger at the devastation that death had brought to those He loved.
But this was not the time for explanations. This was the time for action and Jesus commands those at the tomb, “Take away the stone.” (v. 39).
Not to over-spiritualize, but I’ve got some stones that keep me in a kind of deadness of unbelief. How about you? When things happen to me or my family that Jesus could have prevented, the easiest course of action is to doubt the Lord and His love for me. Am I the only one with these kinds of stones? (to be continued)