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?” John 11: 35-37
We have seen how Mary finally made it to Jesus and found comfort in Him, like we find comfort in the best of friends’ company…a friend who feels our pain…a friend who heals our wounds.
After Jesus spent precious moments with Mary, He asked to be taken to the place where they had buried Lazarus. Right there, in front of Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus exhibited one of the most profound expressions of His humanity: He wept.
Those who have gathered around the scene saw Him and while some were moved by the evidence of love that Jesus displayed, others, however, began to stir some descent among the witnesses by adding an element of doubt about the power of Christ. “Why, if He is so powerful, couldn’t he save Lazarus?” “Who was that blind man, after all? A good-for-nothing-sinner! And He healed him! Why did He have to let Lazarus die? A good man…the only support of his two sisters who are left now destitute?” “What kind of a holy man is this Jesus supposed to be?”
Yep, I know the type. Upon occasion and more often that I dare to admit, I’ve been one of them. I’ve passed judgement on the wisdom and timing of God’s ways. I have voiced my concern about the way He allows things to unfold in my life and in the lives of others. I have doubted. I have not trusted. I have forgotten what He has tried to teach me over and over and over again:
8"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. 9"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.… Isaiah 55: 8-9
Our God is not made into our image. He is not a tamed lion or domesticated pet. He is the God of eternity. At the sound of His voice, galaxies are made. Of course, our ways and our thoughts and our timing is not His. Why do I always forget this?
I forget because I want a God that obeys me. I want a personal genie who grants me my every desire. After all, He has told me repeatedly that He loves me. Don’t you want to give it all to your beloved?
I forget because my understanding of love has been thwarted by the world’s understanding of this concept. The world, and more specifically, our society, teaches us that love does not deny and does not delay. If you love yourself or others, you don’t want to deny yourself or your loved ones the best, regardless of cost and in the most abundant quantities and without any waiting. Let’s continue to dig into this passage in the next post and see if God’s expression of love differs from the world’s interpretation.