Do you know the shortest verse in the Bible? It’s two simple words and it’s found in John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” What on earth made Jesus cry? John 11:1-44 is the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus.
Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. Jesus loved this family. He had a history with them. After all, Mary was the one who broke open the bottle of perfume and anointed His head and wept at his feet under the scrutiny of the Pharisees [Matthew 26]. Yet, when Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus telling Him Lazarus was sick, His response wasn’t what they expected. Verse 6 says Jesus stayed where He was for two more days. The Message says what we’re all thinking: “oddly, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed on where He was for two more days.” It seems odd that Jesus would delay going to a close friend near death, yet He did.
Can you imagine needing Jesus to show up in your circumstances, crying out for Him to come and Him saying “Okay, thanks for sharing,” and then He remains where He is. Can you relate to the frustration and abandonment Mary and Martha must have felt? Have you gone through times when you’ve wondered where God was in a situation and felt like you prayed and nothing happened? The story doesn’t end with verse 6. In fact, in verse 4 Jesus clearly stated the sickness wasn’t to bring about Lazarus’ death but to bring God glory.
Clearly God’s ways are not our ways [Isaiah 55:8]. The disciples are trying to figure out what’s going on when Jesus finally tells them in verses 14-15 “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Jesus was willing to let Lazarus die for the sole purpose of raising him from death to glorify God and to strengthen His disciples. He knew a greater good would come from Lazarus, Mary and Martha going through this difficult time. He didn’t have a hard heart where they were concerned. In verse 35 He stood outside of Lazarus’ tomb and wept, not because Lazarus was dead, but because of the pain and suffering Lazarus, Mary and Martha had to endure. Jesus knew all along He was going to bring Lazarus back from the dead.
Sweet friend, if you are going through a hardship and you’ve cried out to the Lord and see no signs of Him, believe! He is faithful and He will never leave you nor forsake you [Deuteronomy 31:8]. He’s not on vacation. He’s working on your behalf. You can trust Him, even when it seems like you can’t, to take care of you and deliver you from whatever you’re facing.