Does Jesus Care - Divine Power
Does Jesus Care? Divine Power (John 11:38-46)
"We have seen that Jesus cares by acting with divine timing and by giving a divine revealing of His Person: "I am the resurrection and the life" (v. 25). But, the ultimate expression of Jesus' care is the undisputed demonstration of His power. The resurrection of Lazarus is the greatest demonstration of His power short of His own resurrection. In confronting our impossibilities, Jesus can demonstrate His power.
Jesus Cares by Confronting Apparent Impossibilities
We know certainly our possibilities. Our first response is often, "Nothing can be done." In spite of her earlier faith, (v. 27) Martha ultimately saw only the impossibility of the situation (v. 39). We may misunderstand Christ's intention. Martha thought He wanted to see Lazarus again, to view his remains. We may magnify only the problem rather than Christ's power and presence. Martha thought only of the dissolution of a corpse rather than the presence of Christ.
Jesus feels deeply our impossibilities. "Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb" (v. 38). In the face of skepticism (v. 37), the very presence of death, and human grief, Jesus felt a holy indignation. He is "a man of sorrows . . . acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3, KJV).
Jesus confronts directly our impossibilities. Jesus stood boldly before the burial cave, and commanded the removal of the stone (v. 39). He does only what He can do, but we must do what we can do. He could have made the stone fly away by divine power, but instead, He commanded mere men to do it. In confronting our impossibilities, Jesus expects us to do what we can do.
Jesus Cares by Revealing the Glory and Purpose of God
In the face of every problem, Christ intends to reveal the glory of God. Christ's intention in confronting any problem is the glory of God. He states that at the very beginning: "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (v. 40). The word "see" is always used of seeing spiritual and heavenly realities (cf. 1:51). He wishes us first to see His glory, not the solution of our problem. He wanted Martha to focus not on the body of Lazarus, but the glory of Christ.
God's glory is the sum total of all His attributes, so displayed that He cannot be overlooked, ignored, or avoided. Part of His glory is resurrection power: "Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father" (Rom. 6:4).
In the face of every problem, Christ intends to reveal His relationship to God. Christ wants to reveal His unity in communication with the Father (v. 41). His prayer is not a request, but an expression of thanksgiving that God had already heard Him. Yet, there is no earlier prayer recorded! There is an immediate, perfect, uninterrupted unity between the Son and the Father (10:30).
Christ also wants to reveal His unity in mission with the Father: "I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me" (v. 42). John makes it clear that the purpose of all Christ's words and deeds is to convince us that the Father sent Him (12:30; 17:8, 18, 21, 23, 25; 20:21). In the face of Lazarus's resurrection, no one could doubt that Christ was sent from God.
Christ Cares by Demonstrating the Power of God
Jesus demonstrates the power of God by His word alone. "Jesus called in a loud voice" (v. 43). The word "called" usually refers to the shout of a large crowd. Four times it is used in John of the crowds' call for Jesus' crucifixion. When men cried out, it resulted in the death of Christ. When Christ cried out, it resulted in life! All three resurrections performed by Christ were accomplished by His word alone (Mark 5:42; Luke 7:14). Our own resurrection at the last day will be accomplished by the call of Christ's voice alone (John 5:28-29).
Jesus demonstrates the power of God for His purposes alone. Jesus cares for us. On all three occasions of resurrection, Jesus' first interest was for the person raised. His purpose in the resurrection of Lazarus was not speculation, but belief. Lazarus did not speak; there was no sensationalism. The simple doing of the deed showed the divinity and power of Christ.
Lazarus brought his graveclothes out of the grave with him. He was going back to the grave again and would need them. When Christ rose, He left His shroud behind in the tomb (20:5, 7). He would never need it. When He calls for us in resurrection, we, too, shall leave our old garments behind. We will be clothed with our heavenly dwelling (2 Cor. 5:3).