Jesus: A Display of Divine Glory
“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping . . .” (v. 33). The one whom Jesus saw weeping was Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. It was not Mary alone who wept. The Jews that had come to comfort the sisters also wept. Jesus was troubled and groaned in the spirit because of the weeping.
We know that Jesus groaned in the spirit and was troubled because the Holy Spirit moved the human author of this gospel to record that which he saw. We also know that Jesus was fully aware of that which would soon transpire. Jesus knew that Lazarus’ sickness and death were for the glory of God such that the Son might be glorified (see v. 4). Jesus knew that He would soon call the dead from the grave and that the dead would come forth. Jesus knew that the cause of their weeping would disappear as soon as Lazarus came forth. Jesus knew these things, yet He was troubled and groaned in the spirit. Why?
We see the Father through the Son. Jesus was deeply moved by that which He saw. Jesus was moved both by the weeping of Mary who believed Him to be sent by God the Father and by the weeping of the Jews who thought Him to be a blasphemer deserving of death by stoning (Jn. 10:33). God is moved by the sorrow of men, even by that of them who do not know Him.
In verse 34, Jesus asked, “Where have ye laid him?” The Son revealed His omniscience to the woman at the well in Samaria (Jn. 4:17-18) and to the disciples when He told them that Lazarus had died (Jn. 11:14). It was not the Father’s will, however, that the Son should reveal His omniscience on this occasion. His question is the same which all who came to mourn would have asked.
It was the Father’s will that men see the Son weep (v. 35). Believers look upon this scene and are comforted in that we have a High Priest who is touched by our weepings. The Jews who thought Jesus to be a blasphemer worthy of death made note of His tears. They thought His tears to be of one who had lost a friend.
Some of the Jews present had witnessed the miracles of healings which Jesus had performed and asked, “Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?” Many Jews thought Jesus’ miracles not to be of God but to be acts of sorcery. To their thinking, “this man,” Jesus, was “this sorcerer.” Their question was “Could not this sorcerer which opened the eyes of the blind also have prevented Lazarus’ death?”
We know the thoughts of the Jews because the Holy Spirit moved John to record that which he observed. It is by and through the Holy Spirit that we know that “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave” (v. 38).
Jesus groaned within Himself again. The cause of His distress is linked to that which the Jews thought. Unlike Mary and Martha who believed upon Him, the Jews believed not. Disbelief is cause for God to groan.
In the verses that follow, Jesus addresses Martha, a believer, and the Jews who believed not. When Jesus told Martha to take away the stone that sealed the grave, she objected because Lazarus’ body would have began to stink. Jesus replied by asking her if He had not said that she would see the glory of God if she would believe. The Lord’s words were heard both by those who would believe and those who would not believe. It is the will of the Father that all should hear, even those who will not believe. It was the Father’s will that both believers and non-believers would see Lazarus come forth from the grave. So, too, was it the Father’s will that all present should hear the Son thank the Father for hearing Him. The Father would have all men know that He always hears the Son and that Jesus is the Son sent by Him, the Father (v. 42).
When Jesus cried out, “Lazarus, come forth” and Lazarus came forth, not all saw the glory of God. All saw Lazarus come forth but only those who believed saw the glory of God. Some Jews believed upon Him and some did not (see v. 45 and 46).
The Father has revealed His will to all believers through His word. It is for the glory of God the Father that the Son should be glorified. It is the Father’s will that all believers should be as the Son, ever displaying the Father’s love to both them who believe and those who believe not.
Let us do as we are called. Let us make known the love that God has given.