In John chapter 11, we come to the last and most monumental public miracle that Jesus did. The raising of Lazarus from the dead.
There is one later miracle, but it’s in the dark and very private because of how it happened.
That miracle occurred on the night of the Lord’s betrayal in the garden of Gethsemane and it was Jesus reaching over and giving Malchus a new ear after Peter hacked it off. But apart from that miracle in the dark, raising Lazarus from the dead is the last great public miracle that Jesus did.
It was J.C. Ryle, the English cleric, who looked at this chapter in John and wrote, “For grandeur and simplicity, for pathos and solemnity, nothing was ever written like it.”
Jesus had left Lazarus, Martha and Mary back in John 10:40. A few weeks later Jesus gets word that Lazarus has become sick.
His sickness has reached a critical point, and so Martha and Mary send a messenger to say, “He whom you love is sick.” (John 11:3).
They don’t need to say anything else. They don’t give Jesus any instructions. They don’t demand a healing. They don’t say they have faith to believe. They just give Him the information. “He whom you love is sick.”
Their appeal is not based on Lazarus’ love for Jesus. They don’t use Lazarus’ love for Jesus as any kind of lever. They talk only of Jesus’ love for Lazarus.
When we talk about the humanity of Jesus it usually runs along these lines: “Well, He lived and He hungered, and He thirst and He slept, and He was weary, and He died.”
And all of those are human things and Jesus really did do all of them.
But what makes humans unique is not that we hunger and thirst. It’s that we love and we entangle ourselves in these kinds of relationships.
And this explains why, when Jesus gets to the grave, He weeps. He cries at the thought that His friend is dead. He does it, not just because He’s truly human, but because He truly loves.
In recording this event, John gives us a beautiful insight into the full humanity of Jesus. This is what love looks like in the face of death. And it’s a love directed toward you.
Yes, Jesus is the King of Kings. He is mankinds’ Saviour, Healer, Deliver Redeemer. He upholds the entire universe with the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). Yes. And then this,
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
He wept. He wept at the thought of judgement on Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37, Luke 19:41). He wept at the death of Lazarus. He wept because He truly loved. He wasn’t hysterical, He wasn’t bitter, He hadn’t lost control. He wept because His heart was tender.
Great chunks of mankind are abseiling into the abyss without a rope, tangled up in some of the most extreme, disgusting, murderous, twisted and self-destructive abominations that the world has ever known.
Rachel wept for her children because they are no more (Matthew 2:18). But many believers appear to be either indifferent to our ghoulish sins (as witnessed by the lack of church discipline), in favour (as witnessed by many woke evangelical celebrities), or lobbying Caesar to moderate the horror (as witnessed by many traditional church leaders).
We turn a blind eye to the young Christian girl popping out bastard children (or killing them) and give little more than a despairing sigh or a “Tutt Tutt”, at the pervert currently raiding women’s bathrooms, little knowing that both are under the same curse.
Love weeps. We should be weeping, but we are not. We are this way because our hearts are dull, drugged and hard. We are this way because we do not love.
God let loose the hammer on our stone cold hearts. Let the stones cry out and let the tender-hearted weep.