A friend of Jesus had just died and had been placed in a tomb for four days. If you read the story found in john 11:1-44 (NLT) completely, you find that Jesus has designed the time of his arrival to be after the tragedy of death. He is wanting to highlight who he is, not just what he could do. There can be a danger of imbalance when we see only what he can do, versus who he is. We can do that with each other. Only see what we can do, not who we are! This makes relationships one dimensional, lacking depth and layers. Look what he says to Martha, the sister of Lazarus, when he arrives on scene. Verse 25: "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?" He is telling her who he is, not what he does!
When Mary, the other sister of Lazarus, arrives she says in verse 32: "Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died." There is a disconnect going on. She is focussed on him missing a window of doing what she would have wanted. The healing of her brother. Jesus has a very interesting response to what he is experiencing with her and the mourners!
He got deeply angry!
And he wept!
They were reducing him to what he could do and not who he was! This is saddening, hurtful and demeaning to any of us.
In verse 38 it says he was still angry when he arrived at the tomb and prepared to raise Lazarus from the dead.
In verse 39 the disconnect continued, but in verse 40-42 Jesus responds to their disconnect. He says, "didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory if you believe? So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said,"Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.""
Seeing God's glory is seeing God! Not just what he does.
The phrase, "Father thank you for hearing me," is in tune with our theme of gratefulness. Jesus is saying to his Father, thank you that you fully know who I am and I fully know who you are! He then says he spoke these words out loud for the express purpose of those standing there, so that they would believe fully who Jesus was! Then yes, he raises Lazarus from the dead. Not as an act apart from himself, but because of who he is, "The resurrection and the life".
If you were only thankful to God for what he has done, you are missing a deep layer! I am thankful that God is a God of love, not just for his acts of love. I am thankful that God is a God of mercy, not just his acts of mercy. I'm thankful that God is "the resurrection and the life", not just having the power to do it!
We will go deeper on this over the next few days. Enjoy your meditations!