This entire reading is an illustration for John 9:1-3. God does things in His own time, in His own way, and for His own purposes and glory! That’s why He waits…
“Now as Jesus was passing by, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who committed the sin that caused him to be born blind, this man or his parents?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him.’“
Jesus is the light, and He reveals spiritual truth to His disciples. His disciples, however, are a little dense (12), so Jesus clarifies what He means. Hopefully we are more attuned to the spiritual than His disciples were!
Martha is very much like us. She is in pain and lashes out, even though she has faith in Jesus (21-22). Jesus tells her that Lazarus will live again, and she thinks that He is talking about a future resurrection:
Isaiah 26:19 “Your dead will come back to life; your corpses will rise up. Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground! For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew, and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.”
But Jesus is talking about now! This is the 5th “I am” statement, and Jesus identifies Himself as “the resurrection and the life” (25). He reminds us that, for believers:
- Death isn’t something to be feared (1 Corinthians 15:55)
- Death is an illusion (Psalm 23:4)
- Death can only destroy the body (Matthew 10:28)
- Death is a gain (Philippians 1:21)
Right before He calls Lazarus out of the tomb, Jesus weeps. This is often considered to be one of the most comforting verses of the Bible. But why does He weep? I believe that He weeps because of the sin that brings death. He weeps because of peoples refusal to believe in God’s promises. He weeps because people are so tied to this world. He weeps for a nation that refuses to accept their Messiah. He weeps because people refuse to believe in the one who is the resurrection and the life.