Thursday, 27 January 2011
The frustrated Jesus
So, Jesus arrives in Bethany 4 days after Lazarus has died. The people are wailing and crying, loudly. It was part of their culture at the time to show public displays of grief. Jesus had known Lazarus had been very sick, but he waited four days before He set off to Bethany. He had told his disciples when they first heard of Lazarus being sick that "“Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” (John 11:4). Before they reach Bethany He tells them that “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” (John 11:14-15)
We are all acquainted with the part of this story that says Jesus wept (John 11:35). What we fail to take notice of is that just before this, in verse 33, it says a deep anger welled up within Him, and He was deeply troubled. Jesus got angry? Angry that people were mourning the death of a loved one? What's up with that?
Remember now, He had told His disciples this would not END in death. He had performed many miracles. The people still did not believe!
In fact, it says in verse 38 that Jesus was still angry as He arrived at the tomb. So I imagine when He said "Roll the stone aside' it wasn't a friendly request. Martha then jumps in saying there's going to be an unpleasant smell because he has been dead 4 days after all.
I imagine the next words of Jesus was still not the friendliest: "Didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory if you believe?" (John 11:40)
These people are not listening to Him! I believe we all know the frustration when people just. don't. listen.
Jesus then goes on to pray what I believe is a very exasperated prayer: “Father, thank you for hearing me. [Karin's note: Father, at least YOU are listening to 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.”
Then, what does He do? He SHOUTS: Lazarus, come out!
The title of my blog is Listening for God. Are we really listening?