By Linda Alexander
1 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.
The story in our passage is one of the great stories illustrating the power Jesus possessed as the Son of God. Jesus was in the habit of doing things no one had ever seen or experienced before… feeding 5,000 from one basket of food, walking on the water, turning water into wine and now this…. raising Lazarus from the dead. When I read this story, in my head, I hear a big drum roll when Jesus says, “Lazarus, come out!” I see also Jesus raising his arms with an upsweep when he says it. I don’t know if that is how it occurred, but it must have been astonishing to be a part of the crowd who saw Lazarus walk out of that stinky, smelly, dark cave covered in death rags.
But the verse I really like in this passage is verse 38. It states, “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.” Jesus loved Lazarus and Mary and Martha and he mourned the loss of Lazarus. He felt deeply about his friends. Earlier in verse 35, we read, “Jesus wept.” The Son of God, who has all the power of the world at his disposal wept as he mourned the death of a friend.
Jesus possessed this wonderful balance of power and humility. He didn’t let his power overwhelm him as the Pharisees did nor was he afraid to use his power when needed. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. He cared for all of the people…the Samaritan woman, his disciples, Matthew the tax collector, the leper at the pool of Bethesda and you and me.
We are called to be Christ-like. That means we cultivate love for others into our daily lives. A smile to a downcast friend, kind words to those who need some support, a prayer for those who are hurting and always a sense of humility. Because Jesus loves us, we love others.
Dear Jesus, thank you for your example of how to purposefully balance power and humility. Help us do the same.
John 11: 38-44
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?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”